Biloxi Teachers Paint Lockers to Look Like Spines of Famous Books
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Envy the junior high students in Biloxi, Mississippi, who will return from summer vacation to find their English hallway transformed into a brightly colored Avenue of Literature. Each of the 189 lockers that line the hallway — unused for more than a decade — has been painted over to look like the spine of a popular book.
The project was spearheaded by a group of teachers, who decided to devote their summers to creating an environment more conducive to a love of learning than a procession of defunct storage units. Teacher Elizabeth Williams explained, “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.”
In deciding which titles would earn a spot on the Avenue, the Biloxi teachers tried to draw on a wide range of genres, interests and reading levels. Each novel in the Twilight series is represented, but so are Watership Down and Johnny Tremain.
A ribbon cutting ceremony has already been planned to thank the painter-teachers, whose enthusiasm for the project seems not to have been dulled by the arguably arduous task of making over dozens of metal boxes. Said teacher Stacey Butera: “Now, when I look out, I’m going to see things that are fascinating, and I hope the students are going to be fascinated and try to read as well.”
One hopes that they will skip over a certain vampiric tetralogy and head straight to Artemis Fowl.