Exploring Literature with PCHS Media Specialist

Emma Fletcher and Sienna Rivera – PCHS Bulletin 

Meet Mercedes Wildman, whose ability to introduce books and interact with students knows no bounds. After all, that is what originally brought her Parrish Community High School to be the media specialist. She creates and organizes themed reading activities throughout the year, such as a genre study for Halloween and blind dates with a book for Valentine's Day, that guide students through vast expanses of literature. As a former English teacher, Wildman is a beacon of wisdom in the world of literature, as she ensures every reader finds comfort and companionship within a literary masterpiece.

Literacy week unfolds the impact of words and invites readers to explore different worlds of imagination and knowledge. "Literacy week is...meant to raise awareness of the importance of reading.” states Wildman. It was created to encourage students, parents, and educators to include reading in their daily routines.

This year, the theme for literacy week was “Believe in Your Shelf”, which was incorporated into PCHS’ growth mindset and varying subject areas. Cary Jones’ art classes created bookmarks with the winner becoming the Media Centers bookmark for the year! In addition, reading classes constructed book covers or book spines with an inspirational quote or the name of a book that inspired them. English classes also held an essay contest using this year's theme. The first-place winner was Caden Avren, second place went to Mateo Peralta, and third place went to Skylar Echeandia-Ortiz!

Wildman also provides information regarding literacy-themed contests. There is an ongoing poetry contest hosted by the Braden River Public Library. To participate in this contest, you can submit up to three poems to rachel.scharbo@mymanatee.org by April 10th. Submissions must include the poet's name, age, school, contact phone number, and email address. The first-place winner will receive a $50 gift card, courtesy of the Braden River Library. In addition, first, second, and third place winners will each receive their choice of a special prize.

Literature enriches and entertains our lives, offering escape through prose, and we here at Parrish are so grateful to have Mrs. Wildman serves as our guidance through the complex world of literature. Through her dedication and expertise, she embodies the timeless pursuit of literature with her passion for literacy and commitment to an inclusive environment.