Anne Vertuca, a language arts teacher at The Summit Country Day School’s Harold C. Schott Middle School, received a surprise retirement gift from her family three days before school was out.
On behalf of the family, Ms. Vertuca’s husband, Louis D. George, a certified public accountant, gifted the school $10,000 to establish the Anne Vertuca Global Read Aloud. The gift will fund the purchase of books and an author visit once a year. The read aloud will happen during a six week period each fall. At a scheduled time called Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) time, Summit middle school students will all stop what they are doing and read from the same book.
Lower and Middle School Director Mike Johnson arranged for Mrs. Vertuca’s legacy gift to be announced before school on Wednesday, Jan. 22, with her faculty peers present. Anne is retiring from a 32-year career in education, which included the past 19 years at The Summit.
“The Anne Vertuca Global Read Aloud program is going to allow us to authentically connect with other students from around the world,” said Mr. Johnson. “Through reflecting upon a common piece of literature, we will grow in our understanding of our global neighbors, building empathy for those we may never meet while also recognizing how interconnected we are as global citizens.”
Mr. Johnson said teachers have already developed a plan for how the Global Read Aloud will work across the curriculum. Social studies teachers will guide students in researching government or geography. Religion teachers will discuss Catholic Social Teaching principals such as immigration, just war theory or responsibility for the poor and vulnerable. Language arts teachers will tie in curricular standards for key ideas, detail, craft and structure. The read-aloud may also be tied to technology lessons in the presentation of research.
Global Read Aloud is a worldwide project that began in 2010 with a simple goal to connect students across the world by reading the same books. The global nature of the program fits well with The Summit’s mission to develop global mindedness in students.