Carry On ... our school-wide read!
By: Kathy Habel
It is now a tradition and worthy of our attention. Five years and five books later, our school community comes together again as readers and reads, as a community, a selected book. This year’s book, Carry On, continues the tradition of finding a book that engages students, faculty and hopefully parents, as well.
Carry On is an award winning memoir written by Lisa Fenn. Her memoir chronicles the lives of Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett, two young, handicapped men who faced innumerable challenges in their lives, yet triumphed in ways that elicit awe from the reader. It is Lisa’s journey, too, as an ESPN reporter who could not walk away from the story of Leroy and Dartanyon once her reporting was finished.
Each year, the community read is selected by a small committee headed by our school librarian, Mrs. Joanna Sands. Mrs. Sands is an enthusiastic and avaricious reader, so the selection is a “labor of love”. “The criteria for the school wide read are that it has to be an appropriate book for grades 7-12. It needs to have a strong message or theme and one that we can as a school build service activities around. For example, after reading The Finest Hours, Archbishop Williams raised money for “Wreaths Across America” and students participated in “Run for the Fallen”, a Gold Star event.
Carry On came to Mrs. Sand’s attention as a suggestion from English Department Chair, Jamie Adams. Mrs. Adams literally could not put the book down once she turned the first few pages. “I immediately thought it would be a great book for our students. I thought it had such a positive message. The fact that Lisa Fenn, the author, went above and beyond for these two boys really stuck with me. She stayed with them and supported them even when they were not doing things in their best interests. I hope that students look at Fenn’s selflessness and sacrifice for boys to whom she owed nothing. I hope it opens a dialogue of giving and understanding.” And the enthusiasm for this book will be celebrated in October when author Fenn visits Archbishop Williams and speaks to students at a school assembly. Mrs. Sands can’t wait! She shares: “I loved this book. These young men and the adults that mentored them are amazing role models for us all.”