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Beyond the Fields Release- Sanger
A wonderful project is nearing completion at a local school in Sanger. The students at Fairmont School have been working on building literacy through using personal narrative, a unit designed by Dr. Jyothi Bathina, Director of Literate Voices, and a faculty member at Fresno State.With her guidance, English teacher Stacy Lazzari, Bathina’s student in the credential program and a former Fairmont student herself, has been working to implement the project in her eighth grade classroom. The project has proven to have amazing success at motivating, encouraging and inspiring students to read and write and engage in the literacy process.The student work will soon be published in book form as a Literate Voices anthology entitled “Beyond the Fields: Sanger Stories.”

The unit is designed to meet ELA standards while at the same time providing incredible opportunities for authentic learning. As they read and write, students are being guided through the process of Personal Action Research, through which students learn not only to voice their opinions but to analyze their world and effect positive change.

Students are applying grammar, syntax and literary devices in their writing and editing, knowing that they will soon be published authors. Students are also learning other relevant cross-curricular life skills such as designing their covers, marketing their book, creating promotional materials and calculating royalties.

The Literate Voices project is founded on the belief that all students learn best through finding and expressing their personal voice. The project resulted in a previous anthology “Dreams Are for Others,” written by students in East Palo Alto, Calif.

Bathina is currently guiding the process in a high school in Visalia as well, where students are working on an anthology called “Against the Odds: Visalia Voices.” For more information on current and previous publications and the mission of the project itself, see www.literatevoices.org.

The culminating event for all this hard work is a grand joint book launch to be held on May 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State. The budding authors from both Fairmont School in Sanger and Sequoia will attend.

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