Brainerd High's Erin Schroeder helps kids fall in love with the written word

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Updated: 8/13/2012 3:56 pm
Teachers are often recognized for the work they do during school hours...

But sometimes it's the extra curriculars that really make the difference.

At Brainerd High School one special teacher is helping students fall in love with the written word.

Erin Schroeder is this week's Golden Apple winner.

A group of high school students sits in Erin Schroeder's classroom, each one holding a copy of Walter Dean Myers' book "Monster."

Ms. Schroeder asks, "So tell me, how many people actually liked this book?"

This discussion isn't part of regular English class... it's part of the Brainerd High School book club.

Ms. Schroeder says of the book, "It gets into the whole things of judging a book by its cover... Do you actually know someone just by what they look like?"

This year Schroeder took an extra step to share her love of the written word... She started a book club, "I wanted to inspire kids and to help them."

The 3rd year teacher says literacy is directly related to success and she vows to give her kids a fighting chance, "We just need to get kids to read and to write because they cannot function in the real world without that."

That drive and passion for reading and writing hasn't gone un-noticed...

Brainerd Junior Autumn Smith reads from her Golden Apple nomination letter, "Most teachers just give you work and don't explain. But Ms. Schroeder always took the time to explain the work."

Autumn had Ms. Schroeder's English class two years ago as a freshman... Autumn loved the class and when she heard about the book club she jumped right in, "She listens to what I have to say. Some people blow you off, or whatever, she's always there like we were on the same level."

Autumn says Ms. Schroeder really cares about her kids and shows it by spending her free time on the book club and the newly formed poetry club.

Ms. Schroeder spearheaded both groups.

She got Title 1 money for funding and makes sure each kid in the book club has their own brand new copy of every book the club reads, "We have kids that are coming to the book club that you never think would read... and they're coming and they're asking to read different books by the same author and they're really getting into it and they're going out and buying their own books. It's great."

Schroeder says watching her kids get excited about the books they read is incredible... Watching her kids understand and reach for more is even better, "You know you've sparked something and hopefully started a life long love of reading or love of writing or just love of education and learning."
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