I cu n y li in Wal wi m hu n Mik an t o da t Bri an Si n. We al ha a c o k do na Di g.

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1 Aug 25, 2018 De r Fam e, Wel to 7t - ra at Dun Lak! My na is Mr. Van Wag an I te 7t g a la ge ar, an so s u s. Whi t i wi be m 13t ye of te n, it is m 1s ye D S an Cal i Com t Sc o s. I am so ha y an ex d to be a pa of t i in d e s o l s te an co n. I wa to s a t o t b gi g yo so in m i ab me be we ge s a t t i ye. Fir of al, yo ne to k o t a I LO te n. Eve si t e 2n g a, I k e I wa d to be a te r. I am an al of Com c Par Hig Sc o. A er hi s o l, I re ed m ba l de in Ele t Edu on f o Oak d Uni s. I wa hi at Mil Cre Mid Sc o in Com c Par in t e fa of Dur t a ti, I we on to e r m ma r de in Re d & Lan e Ar f o Gra Val Sta Uni s. Dur m 11 ye at Com c Par, I ha ha ma diff t ro. I ha ta t 6t, 7t, an 8t g a la ge ar, 6t an 7t g a so s u s, an I've be a re g in v i n. I ha al co d vo y l, go, an t a k. I cu n y li in Wal wi m hu n Mik an t o da t Bri an Si n. We al ha a c o k do na Di g. I lo re g, co g/ba g, wa h mo, an t a l. In hi s o l, I wa ve ac ; I p a d ba t l, vo y l, an go. I s i l p a go an vo y l no. How, m ab te fa te t i g to do is to s e d qu y ti wi m fa y an f i d. Yo r c i d ha b o h so ma al ho f o t e fir da of s o l fo m c a s( ). Som of t e ma al re e a pa t si t e. Ple re, si, an ha yo c i d re n b t e en of t e we. Ple co c me if yo ha an qu on or co r. I am so ex d to s a t wo n wi yo c i d an yo! War Reg s, Veronica Van Wagoner Ver a Van Wag Web : h ://v a w er. l. om Ema (p e r me d): va g e s ol. g Pho : (616) ex. 7703

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6 By si n be, yo ar ac w gi t a yo ha re an re ed t e in m i ab 7t Gra En is Lan e Ar (in t i s la ) wi yo so /da t. Ple co c me as so as po b if yo ha an qu on or co r. Pri d Stu t Nam : Stu t Sig re X Dat Par /Gu r a Sig re X Dat Dear Parents and Guardians of Mrs. Van Wagoner s Language Arts Students, One of the goals I have this year is to establish a reading habit in the busy lives of my students. I hope that we can work together to help students find the pleasure and passion of reading. This letter is long, but the ideas within are too important to be addressed in a brief note. Please take the time to read this and know what you re signing before you do. The best books challenge our beliefs by helping us see through di erent eyes to live a di erent life. For example, The Maze Runner series, by James Dashner has been very popular with this age group in recent years, but it contains situations in which there is violence against young people. I think it s safe to say that we d all rather believe that our children will not encounter violence, yet reading allows us to confront these fears and live through them. Students love this series and I recommend it to them. I won t know the details of every book students read and refer to this year, and I won t remember the details of all the books I recommend to students. What I seek for all of my students is a desire to read--for pleasure, for knowledge, or for story that will keep them into the pages of a book past our assigned time for reading. This has tremendous benefits. Here are a few: Reading relieves stress. Middle school is stressful. Reading takes you out of the present and into another place and time; it is a perfect escape. Reading builds stamina to prepare students for higher education. Reading for an hour or two in one sitting is a basic expectation in higher education. In this class we will exercise muscles soon to be strained in the coming years. Reading for fluency and stamina has been proven to improve the reading rate for students. Fast reading develops confidence and an appetite for books as well as teaching vocabulary in context, which improves writing, but it only happens when students find books they want to read. But the truth is some of those books might make you uncomfortable. There is a lot of talk in the media that students today won t read, but I believe students substitute all of those other distractions (the internet, TV, etc.) if they feel no passion for the book assigned to them. In my experience, students who haven t been readers will suddenly become quite passionate

7 about reading with the right book in their hands. But those books might challenge your values. Is that okay with you? Can your child choose to read George by Kate Pavao, which delves into the life of a young transgender girl? I believe adolescents should be given more trust. We have to trust that books won t corrupt them anymore than the movies, video games, and television shows to which they are exposed might. It is more important that they re reading! So you may pick up a book left behind on a nightstand and open to a passage with the details of a group of child soldiers in Sudan brutally murdering an entire village ( A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah) and wonder why reading it is a school assignment, and I will answer, Your son or daughter chose it. I might have recommended it because I read it and loved it, or the book may be unfamiliar to me because your child heard about it from another student. The bottom line: I will not place a tight filter on what is read in this class and I m asking for your support in this. I hope you will talk to your child about what he/she is reading this year. I suggest you get a copy of a book and read it if you re concerned about the content or if you want to know more about a book your child is reading, please try the School Library Journal web site, the American Library Association web site, or even Amazon.com. Or call me I ll tell you what I know. Because I respect your role as parents and the traditions you hold sacred, if you want me to more closely monitor your child s choices this year, by all means, call me, and I ll work out a plan that we can both contribute to. If you sign this, it means you understand books won t be banned in this classroom and your child will be allowed to choose what he/she reads. Thank you for your support, Veronica Van Wagoner Veronica Van Wagoner August 25, 2018 I ha re an ag to t e co n of t i le. Par /Gu r a Sig re X Dat P.. Our c a s be fi s ev ye f o ca offs. Ple se bo yo no lo r ne to o r c a s li r, es al on yo lo, if yo ca be to pa wi t e. Be r ye co to c a s an s a a bo wi us. Sha yo pa n fo re g; ge to k o t e am g s u n at Dun Lak Mid Sc o. I wo lo to ha yo jo us. Tha yo.

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