What do bleak rows of faceless lockers in school hallways need? Why, more books, of course! Teachers at one Biloxi school have made boring lockers look like giant books. Because books make everything better, even junior high.
Teachers at Biloxi Junior High decided to add an extra project to their summer: Turning a hallway of unused lockers into a giant bookshelf. The 189 lockers (which are aptly located in the school's English corridor) have long been empty and were sealed shut for security reasons more than 15 years, meaning they weren't doing anything for the past decade and a half except contributing to the bleak look of middle school. But teachers decided to repaint each locker as a giant book, creating a whole new "Avenue of Literature."
"We thought well, wow, we can really make this hallway look good, and we can make the lockers look like book spines, but then it became much more than just a decoration process," teacher Elizabeth Williams told local news outlet WLOX.
"They're so much cleaner and bright, and they're beautiful," said teacher Jamie Parker.
"We want students to come back to school in August and walk on the hallway and be absolutely amazed with what we've done and be curious. We want that to be the driving spark for reading in our classrooms," Williams added. And I have to say that surrounding kids with book imagery seems like a great way to create a reading-friendly environment.
You can check out more about the creation of the project and see the awesome final product at WLOX here.
Basically, I really wish my junior high had gotten to have a hallway like this. Although I have to say that if I were designing my own personal dream bookshelf hallway, I don't know that I would have included titles like Twilight , even though it is great to have so many YA titles in a hallway meant to appeal to young people. But maybe I'm just picky. If I were creating my own personal dream hallway bookshelf, here are some titles I know I would definitely have gifted to my younger self.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
If we're designing a hallway for middle school/high school age self, Jane Austen would have to be on it.
Zorro by Isabel Allende
Superheroes meet historical fiction meet literary fiction meets magical realism? This title deserves a place in any junior high hallway
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Since any school hallway should probably include titles that are also on the assigned reading list, Catcher in the Rye seems like a good choice.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanne Clarke
My younger (and present-day) self is a big fan of fantasy and sci-fi, and no hallway is complete without it.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
This series is also in the Biloxi Junior High hallway, and with good reason. Harry Potter should be everywhere, in every hallway, forever and ever, so long as reading is still something done by humans.