The right facilities can make all the difference for a school.
No one knows that better than Holley-Navarre Middle School Principal Joie Destefano.
She explained that because of the school’s small cafeteria, the students’ entire day, including how long they were in each class, had to be worked around the lunches, leaving some class periods with less instruction time.
The idea of carving out a minute for anything else seemed silly.
“It’s a ripple effect,” she said. “For years we have had a small cafeteria, so it has made getting lunches to all of the kids difficult. We have had six, six-and-a-half periods of lunches because you can only fit less than 200 kids in the room at a time. ”
Over the summer, the cafeteria was expanded, and HNMS cut the lunch period in half. For the first time in years, the school administration had extra time on its hands.
So they started a reading program, and it has taken off better than they could have possibly hoped Destefano said. The students take 15 minutes each day around their lunch period to quietly read.
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