A number of teachers and schools have contributed to this idea book. I would like to acknowledge three in particular.
Dr. Ruby P. “Bela” Herlong: This incredibly talented teacher is also known as “Mama.” My mother has taught English for over forty years. In 1967 she was named South Carolina Teacher of the Year and was one of the five finalists for the Look Magazine National Teacher of the Year award. Her most recent accolade was receiving the 2009 Governor’s Award in the Humanities for a lifetime of achievement.
Sally Miglio-Doulton: Sally teaches at Manhassett Middle School, Long Island, New York. This past spring, she worked with a class of seventh and eight graders enrolled in Scholastic’s “Read 180” program. One of the texts she used was The Great Wide Sea. I was privileged to speak with her students via video conference and found them and their work product to be impressive. Sally has been especially generous is sharing her ideas and materials. She is taking her first sailing adventure this summer. I know she will love it!
Cypress Lake Middle School, Fort Myers, FL: Cypress Lake annually chooses a book for its One School/One Book program. Under this program, headed up by Principal Jeananne Folaros, each student and faculty member reads the same book over a period of approximately three weeks. All the various disciplines attempt to incorporate the text into their classroom activities. The program culminates in a final day of festivities. This past spring I was able to attend as author and speak to the students. The school had organized an incredible “Maritime Fair” involving many members of the community eager to share their expertise and interests with students who had been deeply engaged in The Great Wide Sea and all things maritime for the past three weeks. Both the extended program and its culminating fair are stunning examples of what dedicated teachers, interested students, and an involved community can achieve.