The well-timed therapy dog visit was just one of several projects that has grown from the special partnership between the school and the nearby county library. Roman has been developing a variety of ways to reach out to the teens to increase their reading and writing skills.
“I have a passion for working with teens, and right now, the library has a teen collection [of books], but there’s no dedicated teen space,” said Roman. “Reaching out to them lets them know we’re the library they can come to.”
Two years ago, Roman approached the high school about establishing a monthly book club. On the second Thursday of the month, she meets during the lunch break with students for a lively discussion of three to four books. About 10 teens show up regularly, and occasionally the group has swelled to almost 20.
“I always select more than one book, and though I read them all, they get to choose one,” she said. “That way, I’m always hitting someone’s favorite genre. I want to be sure I find something that works for everyone. They usually end up reading more than one anyway. And sometimes more than book talk happens, but that’s how I found out about how stressed they were during finals.”
Roman also launched a magazine, Eagle Anthologies, to showcase student writing and art work.
“We published our first issue last March, and we had 46 submissions,” she said. “We’re now working on our second issue, and I expect to have even more entries for short stories, poetry and art. I know students are doing a lot of writing in their language arts courses that will be coming my way. But I try to keep it to about 30 pages so we can afford to print multiple copies.”
Having a close working relationship with the county library system has been a win-win for both groups, said Bone.
“Ms. Roman is so dynamic, and it was great that she reached out to us. She does all the work for the book club, choosing the titles and bringing us copies so we have them here. We’ve also partnered with her to do some community service projects. And she was the one who thought having the dogs here would be great. We realize we’re fortunate to have such a unique partnership.”
Information abou the Cobb County Library system is online at cobbcat.org. Details about South Cobb High school are at cobbk12.org/SouthCobb.