SUMMIT, NJ - Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School (LCJSMS) recently celebrated Read Across America Day, with teachers reading a poem aloud to their classes.

The LCJSMS Library Learning Commons has a diverse collection of poetry books, and many of them connect to the subject area curricula. The librarians reached out to the staff with poem recommendations, and staff members shared a “poem of the day” to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday.
Poems were read in Math, Science, Language arts, Art, Physical Education, Technology Education, and the Developmental Learning classes. Among the unique highlights:
 
Juana Rodriguez shared a poem with her Art classes about beauty and Helena Branco read a poem about never giving up. 
 
Students in Physical Education listened to Lorie Mason read a poem about sportsmanship, and Grace Buonpane prepped her 8th grade Language Arts classes for their upcoming research paper with a poem about social injustice. 

 
Karen Cotter’s 7th grade Science classes were treated to a poem about ecosystems, a topic that figures prominently in the 7th grade science curriculum. Ann Dooley’s 8th grade Innovative Design Challenge classes learned about the Empire State Building with a poem from the book Monumental Verses. 
 
Sixth grade Language Arts teacher Tara Weiss read Richard Lovelace’s “To Althea, From Prison” because Natalie Babbitt used lines from the poem in her book Tuck Everlasting, a core novel in Mrs. Weiss’s classes. 

The Math department was strongly represented on Read Across America Day.

Josie Florio shared three poems with her 7th grade classes that covered topics such as fractions. and long division.
 
Joanne Finnen recited Carl Sandburg’s “Arithmetic” with her 6th grade classes. Margaret Lorenzo shared a poem that contained a math riddle and her students used the skills they have learned in their class to solve it. 
 
Louis Castano read two math limericks and after explaining the structure of the form, he had his students write their own math-related limericks. 

The event was aligned with the importance LCJSMS staff places on reading, and recognizes the cross-curricular connections and value poetry can have. Students were able to see how poetry can help them learn more about a variety of subjects and how everyday topics can be expressed through this literary form.