In-School Reading Groups for the
2016 Big Read Program in LA
School partners are key to the success of The Big Read Program in LA and to fulfilling the mission of The Big Read, our nation’s literacy initiative. Since 2008, the program has grown to include new schools and to reach a growing number of students in middle schools and high schools. Books read as part of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) Big Read Program in LA include: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet; The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan; Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Mexican Short Stories by Jorge F. Hernandez (Editor); The Thief and The Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri; and, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. This year, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, will again galvanize teen reading and promote students citywide to be engaged civically.
Participating schools receive educational materials for teachers and students, including a Teacher’s Guide, a Reader’s Guide, a The Big Read banner, bookmarks, and a copy of this year’s book, for every student. The Big Read title is a part of the curriculum with lessons to further enrich students’ experiences and interpretations of the book. Each school hosts either a related activity or event inspired by the book, such as a community festival, a film screening, an exhibition of artwork, a public reading of creative writing pieces, culinary components, field trips, artmaking sessions, and more.
Schools are part of the larger “Big Read Community” in Los Angeles, and are invited to enjoy a range of public events held throughout the city during the months of March through June, with April being declared Literacy and Poetry Month in celebration of DCA’s Big Read Program in LA.
The Big Read in schools program promotes intra-cultural exchange, celebrates cultural connections, and fosters civic engagement. It also places an emphasis on students as catalysts for creativity and interaction.
In 2016, DCA’s partner school participants include:
In School Sites:
Abraham Lincoln High School
3501 North Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Students from two Small Learning Communities, VOICE (Victory Over Ignorance Through Culture and Education) and HUMANITAS will read the book as part of their curriculum. Lincoln High School has been a participant of the The Big Read Program in LA since the initiative’s inception in 2008-2009.
Lincoln High School’s vision and mission are to prepare literate, responsible, and thoughtful students. Lincoln strives to graduate all students ready for college and careers.
Students from Lincoln High School participate in an annual series of cultural presentations and activities collectively known as the “Festival of Cultures.” This Big Read Program in LA event takes place every spring at the school’s historic campus in Lincoln Heights. Previous presentations have included performances from Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Japan, El Salvador, and India, as well as special appearances by authors, Las Cafeteras, local artists, and Lincoln’s own award-winning Urban Movement!
Find out more about this year’s Festival of Cultures schedule on Twitter or Instagram @voiceslc, on Facebook at facebook.com/lincolnhighvoice or lincolnhs.org.
Belvedere Middle School
312 North Record Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90063
The school provides a quality, standards-based education for all students with rigorous instruction that will give them the tools to be successful in life. Students are important members of the school’s learning community. They are encouraged and guided to reach their maximum potential and to be productive and civically engaged.
Belvedere Middle School a activities include creative writing, music, and visual art. Students will read, discuss, and complete a double-entry; create mixed media art to capture plot elements and the novel’s themes; write poetry and create relevant artwork; and host an exhibition of the immigrant experience and student’s personal history.
East Valley Senior High
5525 Vineland Ave.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
East Valley Senior High joins The Big Read Program in LA with its library program overseeing student participation. As part of the Los Angeles Unified School District, East Valley High’s focus is on ensuring that all students graduate from our schools college- and career-ready.
Hollywood High School
Teaching Career Academy |Small Learning Community (SLC)
1521 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
It is the mission of Hollywood High School to prepare students for post-secondary education and the workforce, and to empower students to be healthy individuals who are life-long learners and responsible community participants.
The Teaching Career Academy (TCA) seeks to create a more humane society through lifelong learning and advocacy. TCA students think critically and communicate effectively about personal, school, community and global issues in order to be college and career ready.
The focus of the Teaching Career Academy SLC is to educate students that have an interest in social science fields such as teaching, counseling, social work and psychology. Students in this SLC have the opportunity to tutor students at local elementary schools, take child development courses and attend field trips to local colleges and universities. Students are also encouraged to advocate for themselves and those less fortunate through learning opportunities provided by TCA.
James Monroe High School
9229 Haskell Ave.
North Hills, CA 91343
Monroe HS will educate its diverse student population with a rigorous, relevant curriculum, where students are continuously engaged in analysis; are empowered to express personal histories and to build meaningful connections to the outside world, and are encouraged to reflect on and access their levels of learning. Monroe’s staff is committed to:
Establishing a culture that promotes autonomy and a strong inclusive community built through relationships that value diversity and provide a safe environment where student, staff and parents feel welcome, respected, and are afforded multiple opportunities to excel in academic, artistic, athletic, and professional areas
Promoting leadership that is collaborative, shared, supportive, competent, effective, transparent, and focused on meeting the needs of the school and strengthening our vision.
Ensuring instruction that is rigorous, creative, and relevant to the needs of the students and the demands of tomorrow’s work force and secondary institutions.
Los Angeles Senior High School (LAHS)
4560 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
The Los Angeles High School community is committed to producing self-directed, life-long learners by providing our diverse student body with the skills they need to become critical thinkers, collaborative workers, effective communicators, and technologically literate individuals.
Los Angeles High School’s vision is to promote strength of character through the development of personal responsibility, integrity, and the ability to learn and grow in a culturally diverse and technologically advanced society.
Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
450 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts is a dual-mission high school dedicated to providing aspiring artists and scholars with an academically rigorous pre-college curriculum and a comprehensive, four-year, pre-conservatory arts program. The school’s mission is to provide an exemplary arts and academic educational experience to students who have a passion for the arts, are culturally and socioeconomically diverse, and hail from across Los Angeles. Situated on Grand Avenue, we offer the highest caliber of arts integrated education and the opportunity to access the rich cultural vibrancy of the Los Angeles arts community.
RFK Community Schools
The Paul Schrade Library
701 S. Catalina Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
The Paul Schrade Library staff supports classroom instruction and provides a nurturing, information-rich learning environment for the RFK community.
We serve all students within the five RFK Community Schools: Ambassador School of Global Education (ASGL), Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA), New Open World (NOW) Academy, School for the Visual Arts and Humanities (SVAH), and UCLA Community School.
Verdugo Hills High School
Library and Research Center
10625 Plainview Ave.
Tujunga, CA 91042
The Verdugo Hills Library book club and AP class will read this year’s Big Read Program in LA selection, Fahrenheit 451. Verdugo Hills High School is a comprehensive four-year public high school located in the scenic twin community of Sunland-Tujunga, a suburban section of northern Los Angeles nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The school is part of the Los Angeles Unified School District and is at the center of a complex of schools that also includes a continuation high school, a middle school, six elementary schools, and a children’s center.
There are over 1650 students enrolled at Verdugo in grades 9 through 12. They range in age from 14 to 18 years. The school serves the local communities of Sunland, Tujunga, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, La Tuna Canyon and parts of Sun Valley. The student body also includes students from the Los Angeles Mid-City area and the communities of South Gate and Bell.
West Adams Preparatory High School
Library – Spoilers Book Club
1500 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
The West Adams Preparatory High School Spoilers Book Club will read this year’s Big Read Program in LA selection, Fahrenheit 451. West Adams is a comprehensive four-year public high school located in Pico-Union between South Central and Koreatown and is part of Los Angeles Unified School District and currently has three small schools where scholars focus on themes in Business, Art, and STEM activities. There are 1600 students enrolled at West Adams in grades 9-12, ranging in ages from 14 – 18 years old.
The Spoilers Book Club is a group of avid readers who gather once a week to discuss common books they read, promote literacy, and are instrumental in promoting a culture of reading here at West Adams. They are a self-directed, self-governed group of high school students and not only a book club but a positive organization where students can feel safe to be themselves, express their feelings, and share their issues and concerns, as well as socialize with fellow like-minded teens in a non-judgemental bonding environment.
Westchester High School
7400 W. Manchester Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Westchester High School (WHH) offers a high school experience unlike anything else in the Los Angeles area. The school’s three magnets provide individualized learning opportunities within their small, thematically-aligned programs. But, together, our magnets form one school, providing the widest possible array of athletic and extra-curricular opportunities.
At the Westchester Magnets, project-based learning is embraced. Students synthesize content from all of their classes to create projects and conduct experiments with real-world applications. They engage in hands-on learning as they experience instruction aligned to the themes of our three magnets: Aerospace and Aviation, Environmental and Natural Science, and Health and Sports Medicine.
WHS believes that a great school produces well-rounded students, ready to succeed in college, pursue careers, and enjoy life. Being a science magnet, students are taught to view life as experiment, to explore the world’s possibilities with a spirit of scientific inquiry.