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Forsyth ELA Educator's Passion for Text Connection

As a seventh-grade English Language Arts teacher at Forsyth Academy, Kelsey Martin is most passionate about connection, specifically to text.

When she talks about literacy, she makes it personal, something her students can grasp on to. She does this by asking them to put themselves in the shoes of characters to consider how they would react to things or how they would interact with what went on in the text. She also asks students what resonates with them or if they’ve ever experienced something similar.



She has introduced four sections to her scholars relating to text connections. As they recently read “I Am Malala”, here are some examples of text connections students might make:

1. Text-to-Self: I'm like Malala in that I want the best education for all people in my country.
2. Text-to-Text: Malala reminds me of Maleeka from "The Skin I'm In" because they both dealt with issues that affected them personally and they both had to grow into a more mature version of themselves.
3. Text-to-World: Malala's situation reminds me of the real world because there are women who are still fighting for equal and quality education right here in America.
4. Text-to-Media: This book reminds me of a news clip I saw where it was discussing the state of Afghanistan and what is taking place right now. I believe this is relevant because it shows how there was turmoil back in 2007, and that today, there are still issues taking place on that side of the world.



“It is important that the scholars can connect to the text as it will first give them a ‘hook’ or ‘buy-in’ for the text,” said Martin. “Additionally, connections allow them the opportunity to understand better what the author is communicating to readers. This is dear to me in that I do not want my scholars to lose a chance to experience a book that they wouldn't normally pick up, which could essentially expand their library and taste in books!”



Kelsey is passionate about literacy because she believes reading is a fundamental skill that is necessary in all subjects.

“Reading helps scholars develop their own voices in writing and allows them to really be able to explore what they like and even get to ‘travel’ while standing still,” Martin said. “While traveling isn't what everyone can do in the middle of a global pandemic, much less, afford, reading is a great way to still travel and have a great experience!”



Forsyth Academy, a school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a partner school in the National Heritage Academies network of over 90 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.

Keep up the excellent work, Kelsey!