This 2013-2014 academic year is the fifth year that a bright, motivated high school sophomore has dedicated her time to host a group of young Nativity women for an all-girls book club. Emma Halpern (Canyon Crest Academy ’16) initiated the reading group for our seventh-and eight-grade girls five years ago, when she was just a middle school student herself at La Jolla Country Day School.
As part of her efforts to give back to the community, Emma contacted Nativity Prep’s English teachers in the fall of 2009 and started the book club with a small group of then-sixth graders.
Christina A., a Nativity alumna from the Class of 2012, now a high school sophomore who was a beginning sixth grader at Nativity in 2009, remembers the first day joining the reading group.
“Emma came with a pile of books, some cookies, and we sat for an hour and talked about what we both loved—reading,” Christina recalled recently.
This year, there are twelve Nativity students participating in the book club. The group meets once a month to read and discuss the books they have chosen, and each member of the group has a responsibility to share.
Nativity’s sixth-grade English teacher, Ms. Kelly Determan, is the faculty monitor for the group and supports wholeheartedly the practice of sharing the responsibilities equally among members of the group.
“Some students are asked to lead discussions, others to research the authors, and still others to help provide snacks for the group,” Determan says. “This approach gives all the girls a sense of belonging and allows them to be truly invested in the reading process.”
More recently, Emma has initiated a Bookfair to benefit Nativity Prep students. You can help our students by logging on to the Barnes & Noble website between Saturday, November 16th and November 23rd to purchase any item; a percentage of all purchases (except the NOOK reader) will benefit Nativity Prep. (Please use the Bookfair ID Number: 11223500). Or you can go in person to the Barnes & Noble Del Mar bookstore at 12835 El Camino Real and purchase pre-selected books on display at the store. On Friday, November 22nd, Emma will be there to personally gift wrap any and all gifts and to accept any and all donations for our school.
We are very grateful to Emma for sharing her passion for reading with our students, and for this more recent gesture of support with the Bookfair!