Evening of Literacy Through the Arts Appeals To All Senses
The free event at Land O' Lakes High School will feature drama, music, art, food, as well as one of its own teachers turned author.
Students at Land O’ Lakes High School will put on an evening of entertainment that promotes reading by appealing to some of your other senses – vision, sound and taste.
The high school’s second Evening of Literacy through the Arts will be held Thursday and also features one of its teachers who recently published his first novel.
The idea is to promote literacy as well as display students’ accomplishments in music, artistic creation as well as the culinary arts, said Lina LaBarbara, a school media specialist.
“It is a way to showcase what they’ve done all year,” she said.
You’ll also be able to buy books at a mobile book fair that runs through Friday.
The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the high school, 20325 Gator Lane in Land O’ Lakes, and is free. The book fair opens at 5:30 p.m.
There will be performances by the school jazz and concert bands, short productions from the drama department and American Sign Language students will also perform.
In addition there will be an art show with student art work on display and for sale as well as face painting.
Students studying the culinary arts will show off their skills and offer food for sale.
The students from the reading department developed and will host Literacy Games based on the bestseller “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. The game has 12 stations patterned after the 12 districts in the futuristic novel, LaBarbara said.
People playing the game will get a passport marking their progress through the dozen activities.
The highly popular book captured students in the reading department and even reluctant readers, she said.
“It’s a testament to what a good book can do,” LaBarbara said.
The evening also will feature one of the school’s home-grown authors, teacher David Berger, who in February self-published the novel “Task Force: GAEA,” a book that started decades back as a short story he wrote in high school and kept expanding over the years.
“I did not intend to write a novel,” he said. “But I decided when I turned 40 to finish it.”
The fantasy book has its base in ancient Greek myth with the gods of Olympus and starts with Apollo cursed and punished by Zeus and turned into a mortal before stretching into the modern era.
The effort included four years of editing and revision to get the manuscript in shape for publication, but when it happened, it was overwhelming when the first box arrived with the book.
“I opened the box and sat there on the couch silently for 20 minutes, getting a little teary eyed,” he said.
It was a thrill for students in his advanced placement English class when they noticed a promotional poster of the cover art he had printed for the novel and put up in class. They exploded when a copy arrived, he said.
“They were freaking out,” said Berger, 44, who has taught at the high school for 10 years. “They wanted to touch it and feel it.”
The book is available as a paperback and ebook through the major sellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Like any good author, Berger is working on a sequel.
“This one won’t take 27 years,” he said.