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Northwest’s Project LIT engages teens with reading

Northwest’s Project LIT engages teens with reading

Northwest High School's Project LIT book club Northwest High School is kicking off its first community-wide book club and literary event to celebrate the love of reading. Language Arts teachers Charlie Bartsch and Melissa Buteyn are hosting Northwest’s Project LIT on October 1 at 6 p.m. In addition to discussing the book, the students will connect with snacks and activities.

Project LIT Community is a national literacy network of teachers and students who work together to host book clubs and celebrate reading.

“When I heard about Project LIT, I knew we needed to have this in our school,” Buteyn said. “This is a great way for students to read high-interest young adult books where students can see themselves in the characters.”

The students read Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson about a young teenage girl who’s in a group home for allegedly killing a baby, but readers are left wondering throughout the book if she really committed the crime.

“This was one of my favorite books,” said senior Trisha Schmidt, who will participate in Project LIT. “Between school and my job it was kind of hard finding time to read, but this book is really good and once I started I would get in a zone where I didn’t focus on anything else for a while.”

The students like the idea of a book club at their school.

“I believe it opened a doorway to involve students who may have not liked books,” said freshman Jainaba Sillah.

“Without Project LIT, we may not be reading as much outside of class,” said freshman Martin Lopez.

“It will be fun to talk about a good book with others, especially a book like Allegedly that talks about a lot of important issues,” said senior Haley Thompkins.

The students say Project Lit is achieving its goal of getting students to read for pleasure.

“I’ve read a couple of books since finishing Allegedly and that’s the fastest I’ve read three books in my whole life: three books in two months,” said freshman Xander Leighton.

Northwest plans to host a Project LIT book club discussion each quarter. Students from other schools and community members are welcome to participate. For more information, contact Melissa Buteyn at