‘Hunger Games’ Ignites Passion For Reading At NC Middle School

Students join teachers in a “Hunger Games” flash mob at the end of the A and AB honor roll ceremony at River Bend Middle School in February. The school has used “The Hunger Games” book this year to boost literacy and reading stamina of students.

Students at River Bend Middle School have one request of “The Hunger Games” director Gary Ross: Stay true to the book.

The filming at Henry River Mill Village for the movie was expected to wrap up Wednesday and move on to Shelby on Thursday. Other locations set for filming in North Carolina are in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington.

“The Hunger Games” is the first book in a trilogy from author Suzanne Collins. In addition to the “The Hunger Games,” other books in the trilogy are “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay.” The trilogy revolves around a dystopian society in North America in the future that’s attempting to rebuild after collapse.

River Bend Middle students sent letters to Ross recently, telling him what the book means to them and how the school has used the book for learning.

A cover letter that was included with the letters tells Ross how the book has bolstered reading proficiency and stamina and set the whole school on fire.

Once the faculty and Catawba County Schools officials got behind the choice, a “The Hunger Games” fever seemed to infect everyone at the school.

Getting kids who normally don’t read to get excited about reading is something Principal Donna Heavner and her teachers were hoping would happen when they chose “The Hunger Games” as the book that would be used to build reading proficiency and stamina.

Students were divided into groups similar to the way people are divided into districts in the book. Each session, the “districts” would read the book together, chapter by chapter, Heavner said. The school, with the help of 3M, purchased hundreds of copies of the book for students.

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