Hyde School Partners with Bath to Promote Reading, Build Bridges and Investigate Censorship

Wonseo Huh rehearses a book talk while a classmate looks on.
Wonseo Huh rehearses a book talk while a classmate looks on.

This month, students from the Hyde School and the Bath community will share in a belated celebration of national Banned Book Week. The Bath Youth Skate Park will host the event October 20 at 7:00pm in the theater and lobby. The event, aimed at promoting reading through peer interaction, will highlight the importance of reading and the issues of censorship in American society. The American Library Association and the National Council for the Teachers of English celebrated banned books this September 26-Oct 3.

Kirstie Truluck, a teacher at the Hyde School, collaborated with Steve Balboni, of Bath Parks and Recreation, and Arthur “AJ” Reno, General Director of the Park in hopes of bringing students together and opening the Park to new opportunities.

“This unit of study around banned books incorporates book talks as strategy for supporting adolescent literacy,” says Truluck. “The unit capitalizes on the three fundamental elements of literacy –Choice, Time, and Sharing.”

Truluck, and fellow teacher Tyler Plourde, presented their juniors with a collection of books that have been banned or challenged and then guided them through the experience of choosing a book.

“Most of my students had never chosen a book to read as part of their English class,” said Truluck.

The teachers devoted class time to sustained silent reading and one-on-one conferences to discuss the elements of the literature and how to promote it. The culmination of the unit is to share the book talks with authentic audiences within the school. The Skate Park book talks are a chance for hard working students to present their best work.

“The Park ~ Skatepark & Teen Center looks forward to hosting “Book Talk” because we want to engage the youth of our community to express their thoughts on censorship of books. We look forward to working with Kirstie Truluck and the Hyde community,” says Reno.

Truluck will begin the evening’s talks with a multi-media introduction to contextualize the study of banned books then students will present on a variety of previously banned and challenged titles from authors including Vonnegut, Morrison, Steinbeck, and Lowry.

Hyde School extends special thanks to Bath’s own Bath Book Shop for their collaborative efforts and quick book ordering option.