Let me start by explaining what the MHS Hunger Games Project is all about. Last year, a couple students made a suggestion to their teacher that she read a novel called The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. She did, and the novel was passed along from teacher to teacher. Several of us got together with the two students who first suggested the novel and came up with the plan to have a whole-school read. For several reasons, that became a goal that was beyond our abilities considering the timeline we had to work with. We elected to focus instead on a project with incoming freshman class during the 2011-2012 school year.
Having our entire freshman class read the same novel to start the school will accomplish several goals. Chief among them is developing a sense of community among our students, giving them the opportunity to engage with one another across social groups. The characters in the novel are teenagers as well, and though they deal with extraordinary circumstances in their lives, so do our students. Most of us have no idea what our students or classmates are experiencing as part of their everyday lives. Becoming more open to the experiences of others and developing compassion for our peers is key.
In addition, we, the teachers involved, have all heard from a variety of students about how engaging they found The Hunger Games. The plot is action-packed and dramatic, the conflicts and characters are engrossing and relatable, and the themes are both timeless and timely. In a time when many of our students choose not to read, we believe this novel will excite and interest them, perhaps lighting a fire for reading that has since burned out.
These are some of the reasons why we've chosen this project, this book. The discussions, the lessons, the reading; those are the easy parts. Right now we need help with a more difficult goal. And that's where you come in. In order to have enough copies for our incoming freshman class (and the 9th grade teachers) we will need approximately 600 copies of the novel. Though we would like to purchase the hard-bound version which will last longer, the reality is that we will need more time to raise that amount. We are planning to start the school year with the novel, which means we need to be able to place an order by the end of July most likely. We are aiming for 600 copies of the paperback version and can use all the support you are able to give. For more information about donations, check the "Donations Info" blog entry.