Students publish book of poetry

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 23, 2000

Features Editor

April 22, 2000 11 PM

The STAR class at Charles Henderson Middle School has published a book of poems, stories, profiles, riddles and jokes and, for the STAR students, the end more than justifies the means.

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The "means" of the publication are centered around English. The purpose is to motivate reading, target writing and promote an awareness of spelling. Hopefully, the "end" is a field trip that will be both fun and educational.

Johnnie Mae Money, teacher for the STAR class, said 100 of the books, titled STAR Impressions, have been published and are available for a donation of $5 each.

"The money we raise will go toward a field trip in May," she said. "The program this year has been very successful and we want to go out with a bang."

Eighteen students are enrolled in the program which is conducted in a self-contained classroom setting.

In order to be eligible for the STAR Program, a student must have a deficit of at least two grade levels and be recommended by the school counselor, Money said.

The acronym for the program stands for Success Through Accepting Responsibility and Money said there are many signs that the program is promoting success through accepting responsibility.

"The STAR students have received a lot of compliments on their improvements in the academic areas and on their social behavior," Money said. "Two of our students, Sarita Hall and Duran Boykin were on the honor roll for the third nine-weeks and Michael Daniels has been on the honor roll all semester."

STAR students also have gained a lot of respect for the things they do in the classroom that promote good social behavior. Money has selected six boys and two girls to serve as student crisis assistants for a multi-handicapped class.

"They assist Mrs. Stringer with helping the students get on and off the bus, with fire drills and with outside activities and programs," Money said. "If her assistant is absent, they help her with getting the students settled. The STAR students are very comfortable with the multi-handicapped students and enjoy working with them."

The STAR Program is in its fourth year at CHMS and Money said it is making a difference in the lives of the students it serves.

"The book they have published is one example of the good work they are doing academically," Money said. "This was a big project for us and the students did outstanding work."

The students profiled teachers at CHMS and their stories are included in the book.

The cover of the book was designed by an art student, William Moultry, and several students outside the STAR class submitted writings for the book.

"The book would not have been possible without the help we received from Wise Office and Supply, Wise Printing, the Printing Press and Paper Workshop," Money said. "Our principal David Helms always supports anything positive we try to do and Willie Thomas is our coordinator. Everyone working together helped make STAR Impressions a reality."

Anyone who would like to support the STAR class by purchasing a book or by making a donation may do so by contacting Johnnie Mae Money at Charles Henderson Middle School.