You say kids today don’t read?

High School Students Collaborating On Project On Campus

by Christine Kling

Well, I would like to offer you the opportunity to do something about that. It’s called the Battle of the Books Team.

As you may or may not know, I spent many years in the classroom as a high school English teacher. Today, I am very fortunate to be able to write full time, but I still have friends who are there doing the good work in the trenches to light that love for reading in the kids they see every day. Without people like that, there may not be the readers in the future to support the publishing industry.

I think these folks are nothing less than heroes, and I’d like to introduce you to one of them: my friend Barbara who works as the media specialist (aka librarian) at Miramar High school in Florida where 65% of the students are on free/or reduced lunch.

Barbara has come up with a plan to get her students to go to the countywide Battle of the Books competition. First, they have to read the 15 books on the Florida Teens Reads list. These are not the literature they might be reading in English class — they are high-interest, very current novels as seen in this video.

Barbara wants to hook her kids on reading by using the allure of competition, technology and reading ebooks. She has a plan to buy 12 Kindles for her school’s media center and load them up with the Florida Teens Reads books, as well as the thousands of classic and public domain books that are available for free.

But she needs help. Barbara has started a Donors Choose campaign to raise the money to purchase these Kindles. If you want to learn more about how Donors Choose works, click here.

This is the season of gift giving and generosity. Give up one treat for yourself this week and help a kid to learn to love reading. Maybe eat at home instead of going out. Pass on that Starbucks stop. It doesn’t have to be much. Whatever you can afford to donate will help this dedicated teacher light that flame.

And you know what? You just might be helping to create the future readers who will buy your books!

Please, click on this link Battle of the Books Team and the next time somebody tells you that kids today don’t read, stand up and say, “Yes, they do when there is someone around to encourage them—and I am one of those people.”

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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One Response to You say kids today don’t read?

  1. Just a quick thank you to all of the readers of WriteOnTheWater who have donated to our project. We are half way to our goal already. As we all know, the gift of reading lasts a lifetime. My kids are so excited about this project and the incentive of using Kindles just keeps garnering us more particpants. I will post pictures and keep everyone updated on our progress. Whether we win or lose The Battle of the Books, my kids will all be winners because they will have discovered the pleasure of reading. Thanx again. – Barbara

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