It was a Friday morning in Mathis Peach Orchard when students of Quitman School District listened as farmer and business owner Lisa Smith talked about the history of the famous Clarke County fruit. Her brother and business partner, Randy Mathis, instructed the group on the challenges of maintaining a peach tree as well as an orchard the size of one which supplies stores in both Clarke and Lauderdale counties.
Students of Quitman High School’s Broadcasting Communications Program were on hand to film the casual lectures so that all Quitman School District students can learn more about the area’s agriculture and the work it takes to maintain a farming business.
This year’s James and the Giant Peach Community Read is the inspiration behind a partnership between Mathis Peaches & Produce and Quitman School District. What both know is that reading can instill a curiosity and a passion within a reader. Following one’s curiosity from a book to a google search, a library shelf, a series of questions to an adult, or possibly, as in this case, a visit to a peach orchard are just some of the ways people of all ages learn from reading.
We found several people who can remember a book which instilled a curiosity within them and made them research more on a particular subject. Forestry teacher, Jason Miller, says it was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, which ignited his passion for coon hunting. The Midwife’s Revolt by Jodi Daynard is a book journalist and Clarke County Tribune editor, Cindy Baxely, says peaked her interest in how people lived and survived during the Revolutionary era. QJH Principal John James mentions how Tom Raff’s work in How Full is Your Bucket? motivated and inspired him into a new way of thinking. QLE Principal Amanda Allen explains that when her daughter Monroe reads they both turn to Google. “We researched the Olympics and gymnastics when she bought a Gabi Douglas book at the book fair. We researched pirates and pirate slang when she read Judy Moody and Stink:The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt.” Finance Director Elisa Mayo says she’s recently been inspired to research because of The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate, and Superintendent of Education Dr. Suzanne Hawley notes how Harper Lee’s new release, Go Set A Watchman, motivates her to study the south during that time period.
Do you remember a book which inspired a curiosity in you beyond the pages on which it was written? If so, please comment here. Two people will win a James and the Giant Peach t-shirt for sharing their reading inspiration.