William Blount High School educators get active

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William Blount High School teachers and administrators could be found in the library for three days in November to help celebrate Teen Read Week by demonstrating to students that learning can take place outside of the classroom.

The theme of this year’s celebration was "Get Active at Your Library."

The goal of these presentations was to get students interested in reading non-fiction, so students were exposed to activities in which they could participate. From photography to belly dancing, teachers brought in props, photos, magazines and costumes related to their hobbies.

Several students were surprised to learn that principal Steve Lafon was a professional motocross racer in the 1970s and on most weekends can still be found racing his dirt bike in endurance races. Although Lafon no longer races for money, he said, "the reward is doing something that I love."

Sitting in her kayak, Spanish teacher Amy Jones shared her passion for water sports, explaining that, "Swimming lessons opened up opportunities for me to get active."

English teacher Lisa Millsaps led students in a breathing exercise from one of her singing lessons and told them that although teaching is her job, singing is her love.

Students not only caught a glimpse of what their teachers and principal are passionate about, but also discovered some activities that piqued their own interests. After participating in English teacher Steve Carpenter’s Tae Kwon Do presentation, freshman Reva Rice said, "I would really like to take Tae Kwon Do lessons."

The value of failure was also not lost on students when cosmetology teacher Judy Sloan held up a crooked scarf, one of her first efforts in knitting. She said, "Learn from your mistakes and get better."

Throughout the presentations, educators challenged students to get active. Lafon told students, "If you like something enough to make it a devoted hobby, then pursue it."

Librarian Cindy Price termed the celebration a success as many students were caught up in the presentations and checked out a number of books on a variety of subjects. "It was really neat seeing students go up to their teachers and principals
after the presentations and really seeing them in a different role - one that they can relate to."

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