Literacy Day on display. Tuesday, March 12 marked the day South Forsyth High School partook in a day surrounding academic discourse and its importance in the classroom environment. Many classes participated in Socratic Seminars and class discussions. (Sadie Rawlings)
Literacy Day on display. Tuesday, March 12 marked the day South Forsyth High School partook in a day surrounding academic discourse and its importance in the classroom environment. Many classes participated in Socratic Seminars and class discussions.

Sadie Rawlings

More than a day for books: SFHS Literacy Day

March 12, 2019

Posters and wallpapers decorated the hallways advocating for Literacy Day on March 12th. Teachers and students have been preparing for this day to come, and now spectators are visiting classrooms and watching students and teacher engage with each in academic activities. Many teachers stray from their normal style of teaching and provide activities for the students to utilize teamwork and discussion. Students share and evaluate their assignments while other teachers complete their own critiquing worksheets to figure out better ways to implement lesson styles their coworkers were using for their own classes. From this experience, teachers are learning how to adapt changes into their classrooms to interpret new strategies for tying in new values of academic discourse. Through Literacy Day, the school is evolving classrooms by investigating the potential of integrating better communication and discussion between students and teachers; pushing towards a future of more lively discussion and learning.

Literacy Day was created in order to encourage academic discourse within a classroom. Throughout the day, district personnel observed classrooms and how they engaged in academic discourse. Teachers are creating specialized lesson plans that will improve communication and provide a relevant and engaging learning environment.

We believe literacy is the cornerstone of all learning in all content areas; therefore, a focus on literacy is a moral imperative for all teachers, no matter grade level or content focus.

— Dawn Phipps, Forsyth County Director of High School Education and Learning


This is part of the five year initiative to develop the level of learning within Forsyth County. The county has developed a new process of learning that will adapt to the changes seen within the student body in order to improve the students’ outlook on education. To further develop reading in our society, the school has created student prizes. Teachers have been given prizes for students who are seen reading books outside of class. This academic discourse enables students and teachers to work together on presentations and peer discussions. Various activities such as critical thinking, accountability, and communication marked Literacy Day at South.

Grace Drawdy
Lab Partners at work. In science classes, labs were conducted in order to encourage students to use critical thinking and discuss their thoughts with partners. Students in this lab studied acids and bases, and compared and contrasted their results with peers.
Grace Drawdy
Students becoming the teachers. In this class, students speak to their peers. Groups of students created a lesson and review quiz for the rest of their class. This involved the entire class in a way that connected students through academic discourse.





Ms. McGray, an AP Government teacher, says, “I think it has helped, especially with AP Gov, because they got to share their opinions and see how the Supreme Court impacts their daily lives. They had more relevant conversations, especially with the NetRef discussion. With Honors World, we expanded more of what they received in class and also seeing historical perspectives about World War 1.”

Junior Rowen Aragon agreed,  “We participated in a new Socratic seminar format that we designed as a class. It was great; we could have easily talked for 2 hours about The Things They Carried and whether or not the draft is justified. The discussion was great to the point where I annoyed my next period talking about the draft.”

However, some students felt it interrupted the flow of class and wasn’t related to their subject. Most of the time, the reactions were positive.

In my classroom, a focus on literacy happens regularly. Literacy Day or not, academic discourse in an integral aspect of my science instruction five days a week.

— Kelsey Parent


Swapping books. Mr. and Mrs. McIlvan “shop” at the school’s book swap cart. Swap Mobile’s introduction to South Forsyth High School gives students an opportunity to find new stories to enjoy while also being able to donate old books they once loved, but no longer read. The Swap Mobile provides students with opportunities to expand their knowledge on reading by getting books for free. The cycle of giving and taking allows so many people to enjoy a book someone might not have been able to afford, or someone a chance to clean out their storage.


Daria Weber
Literature lover. In the SFHS dining hall, Sharon Forks Library set up rows of popular books for students to look over, as well as a station to sign up for a free library card. Invited to represent Forsyth County Libraries, Page James joined SFHS during Literacy Day – a day devoted to inspiring students to become interested in reading.














Q: What does the Sharon Forks Library hope to accomplish here today?
A: We were invited to come and represent Sharon Forks, and we wanted to encourage teens to sign up for a library card. We are also giving out information about, which is our online tutoring service. It is available for teenagers and younger kids, and you just need a library card. You can become in contact with tutors that specialize in whatever subject it is. We think it’s one of our really good services we supply for patrons of the library. We are hoping people sign up for the library card so they can also use We want to promote literacy. As a library, that’s what we are about.
Q: What advice would you give to students who may not be open to reading more books?
A: I would try to find something that would interest the student, because you can tie in almost anything into a book. You can find a book for everything you are interested in.
Q: How can reading more books improve the lifestyle of students?
A: I think reading is relaxing. It’s a way to escape everything you have to deal in high school and life in general.


Through this single day at South, students are able to see the importance of literacy and understand the importance of meaningful academic discourse. 

About the Writers
Alyssa Freyman, Editor-in-chief
Alyssa Freyman is a senior and is joining the journalism staff for her third year. You can usually catch her at a local bookstore or coffee shop, getting her caffeine fix. In her spare time, she enjoys jamming out to Coldplay and 70's and 80's rock or watching Netflix. Her latest binge-watch is That 70’s Show, and she is currently re-watching Parks and Rec. She believes that Disney movies are always a good idea. Alyssa is currently a member of DECA, National Honors Society (NHS), National English Honors Society (NEHS), and National Latin Honors Society (NLHS). She loves to laugh (mostly at her own jokes). Her friends would describe her as adventurous; she likes to go zip-lining and rock-climbing. Don’t ask her what her favorite book is; she loves them all. She enjoys taking photography, filming, traveling, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs. You can contact her at [email protected].
Sierra Wamsley, Editor-in-Chief
Sierra Wamsley is a senior at South Forsyth High School. She is beyond thrilled for her fourth year on The Bird Feed staff. You can often find Sierra splashing in the pool or writing a new story. She will be continuing on the South Forsyth Swim and Dive Team for the fourth year. She’ll always have a big smile on her face and a positive attitude. Sierra spends the majority of her free time engaged in music. She is usually jamming out to pop music with her brothers in the car. One item that has always been on her bucket list for the future is visiting Greenland. You can reach Sierra on Twitter at @wamsley_sierra or email her at [email protected].
Daria Weber, Copy Editor
Daria Weber is a Senior at South Forsyth, marking her fourth year on The Bird Feed staff. A proud Venture Scout, Daria is the current president of Crew 1109, president of the NEGA Venturing Officers Association, and works at Camp Rainey Mountain. Although Daria is often busy with school-work, she will always find time to enjoy a good book. Daria’s goal is to bring out the best of The Bird Feed and enjoy her last year on staff.

You can reach Daria at:

[email protected]


Kate Haas, Senior Editor
Kate Haas is a senior at South Forsyth High School and this is her third year writing for The Bird Feed. She has previously worked as the features editor and will spend her final year as senior editor. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and watching movies and TV shows. She aspires to one day live in New York City and to travel the world. Kate is looking forward to this year on The Bird Feed and cannot wait to see what exciting articles she will write. You can contact her at [email protected] or through her Twitter, @khbirdfeed
Elijah Cho, Opinions Section Editor
Elijah Cho is a sophomore in South Forsyth High School and is very grateful to be able to be in the Journalism group once again. Despite deciding to fully focus on academics instead of joining marching band this year, he’s still doing his best to push through the difficult classes in his second year like AP World History. He loves to write short stories in his free time while listening to video game and anime soundtracks like Professor Layton or Undertale (when he’s not too busy obsessing over character design or plot development). Either that, or you’ll simply find him watching Psych, Youtube, or anime. As you can probably already tell, he’s an enthusiast for music of many kinds, whether he’s listening to 80’s music, metal, classical, or playing the piano or trumpet. As this is his second year of high school, he hopes to be able to have more new experiences including Mock Trial. Although this is his first year in Journalism as the Opinion Sections Editor, he hopes he will be able to write many good Opinion articles and be a good contribute to the team and its newcomers. Check him out on Twitter @TheCho_senOne or contact him at [email protected].
Shree Delwadia, Editor-In-Chief
Shree Delwadia is excited to be part of The Bird Feed as a senior! This year is her fourth year on staff, and she cannot wait to take on her new responsibilities as the Editor-In-Chief. By working on the staff as a writer and an editor, she has learned a variety of communication, teamwork, and accountability skills that she will take on to other roles in her life. At school, she is a part of MDJunior, Beta Club, and UNICEF.  In her spare time, she loves spending time with her friends and family or discovering new things to do. Two of her ride-or-die tv shows are Grey’s Anatomy and Friends. Moreover, Shree has a strong interest in medicine and hopes to pursue a career in healthcare one day. You can contact her via twitter @ShreeDBirdFeed or using her email [email protected].
Shreya Mishra, Senior Editor, Online Lead
 Shreya Mishra is a senior at SFHS, and the Senior Editor on The Bird Feed, and is thrilled to be working on the journalism staff again this year. Additionally, she runs the back-end website operations. She enjoys creative writing, opinion writing, and photography. Outside of school, she is an extremely passionate dancer of eight years, and an artist since she could write. She is excited to explore new forms of creative and innovative journalism and multimedia. 
Samyu Machani, Staff Writer
Samyu Machani is a senior at South Forsyth High, ready to graduate and explore the endless possibilities college has to offer. She’s has a love for music, plays acoustic guitar, and has a strong interest for reading and writing poetry, even though she’s not an expert. This is her first year in journalism, and she believes that the course gives her an opportunity to delve deeper into crucial topics, and to incorporate her creative skills in her work. In the future, she is interested in pursuing a career in the fashion industry, and she has completed the Fashion Marketing Pathway at school. Her enthusiasm for fashion comes from her eagerness to learn more about the different aspects of design and how to create her own brand by combining various types of creative elements with fashion, such as photography and film, or even painting. Samyu is looking forward to contributing to the Bird Feed, and working with her team to constantly improve the student news site. You can email her at [email protected].

Brooke Eldridge, Opinions and Arts and Entertainment Editor
Brooke Eldridge is jumping into her senior year and is excited to work for The Bird Feed one last year as the Opinions and Arts and Entertainment editor. She indulges in helping others and animals and is all about spreading awareness of mental health. She has a high sense of fashion and loves coordinating her clothes by color. In her free time, Brooke enjoys watching any horror film she can find and listening to her favorite artist, Billie Eilish. Although she comes off as quiet and shy, talk to her and you’ll be pleasantly surprised! She is known as a creative and loving friend. You can contact her on twitter @BrookeEldridge7 or email [email protected]
Minakshi Shivananda, News Editor
Minakshi Shivananda is a sophomore at South Forsyth High School and is taking on her 2nd year at The Bird Feed. She is the News editor this year on The Bird Feed and can’t wait to start working with the new staff. At South, she is an active member of HOSA and has been playing the piano for 9 years, outside of school. She aspires to live in Chicago and loves to travel. She is looking forward to another great year on the staff! You can contact her at [email protected] or through her Twitter, @MinakshiShivan2.
Olivia Waletzke, Staff Writer
Olivia is a freshman at South and new to the journalism crew! Writing is a huge passion of hers so the Journalism group is a dream come true for her. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and adores meeting new people to talk to. Olivia was born in a suburb outside Chicago and is a definite Midwesterner. She enjoys rollerskating and getting Boba tea with her friends on the weekends. Olivia has a deep passion for traveling, and just recently traveled to Japan over the summer of 2018. Olivia is into fashion. You will rarely see her wearing cozy clothes to school. She likes to see herself as a friendly person, making Journalism the class for her! Feel free to contact her via my email [email protected] and follow my twitter @o_waletzke
Naisha Roy, Copy Editor
Naisha Roy is elated to continue her fourth year on The Bird Feed as a senior. As the Copy Editor, she hopes to help every member on staff find their unique voice and transform into journalists. She loves acrylic painting, trying to master different cuisines, and stationery. She also interns for the NRI Pulse, an online newspaper where she hopes to gain experience for her dream job as a journalist for the New York Times. Her current obsessions include Queer Eye and Indo-Chinese food. An avid Marvel watcher, she loves binging shows like Loki in her free time. She hopes to make her last year at The Bird Feed an absolute blast. You can contact Naisha at [email protected].
Douglas Seely, Staff Writer
Douglas Seely is a junior at South Forsyth High school. This is his first year working on The Bird Feed. Douglas likes to spend his time working on cars and trucks. Over the summer Douglas worked at a summer camp named, Camp Rainey Mountain as a Ranger and an Instructor.Douglas is very active in Boy Scouts and likes hiking and backpacking. Douglas like to fence on the South Forsyth Fencing team. Douglas’ visions for The Bird Feed  is to bring a lot of information to the readers.


Email: [email protected]

Twitter : @seely_douglas  
Kayleigh Emberton, Senior Editor
Kayleigh Emberton is the Senior Editor of the BirdFeed. Kayleigh is in her fourth year of journalism and could not be more excited. Kayleigh loves sports, especially baseball and football. Kayleigh is a die-hard fan of the Atlanta Braves and Indianapolis Colts. She loves the beach, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. When she isn’t outside, she is listening to music and dancing around the house. Kayleigh loves the feeling of adrenaline, so she enjoys action and horror movies; but every once in a while, a Disney movie really sets the mood. Her love for action, adventure, and helping people, sets her on the path of becoming a K-9 cop. You can contact her via twitter @KayBirdFeed or her email [email protected].
Grace Drawdy, Editor-in-Chief
Grace Drawdy is a senior and has been a part of The Bird Feed for four years. After taking on the role of the Associate Editor, she is excited to be the Editor- in- Chief. She hopes to finish out her final year with a bang, and lead the staff to reach new goals. You can find her making a splash at the Swim Atlanta Sugarloaf location where she is a year-round, competitive swimmer. Grace loves to live life loud. Her heart beats for kids fighting pediatric cancer, and she wants to heal them all. She loves spending time with her friends. In a rare moment of downtime, you can find Grace having a solo dance party or binging Netflix. You can contact her via twitter or email.

Lauren Holiday, News Editor

Lauren Holiday is a senior at South Forsyth and the News Editor of The Bird Feed. She is an inspired and passionate artist with big hopes for her future. Lauren is an art enthusiast who studies many popular online artists and writers to improve her own works. The reasoning behind additionally having interest in journalism is that she believes fiction stories need to have a relevance to the world today in order to tell a meaningful message. So while it may seem that she’s lost in fantasies with dragons, ghosts, robots, and talking animals, she’s actually plotting to advocate for her opinions in the most creative way. Ultimately, Lauren hopes to introduce new and controversial thoughts to the school to make the best out of her last year in The Bird Feed journalist class.

If you want to contact her then refer to her email: [email protected]

Sadie Rawlings, Co-associate Editor
Sadie Rawlings is a junior and a co-associate editor of The Bird Feed staff this year as she was formerly the online editor. She usually spends her free time in the gym where she prepares for upcoming CrossFit competitions. In addition to writing for the Bird Feed, she runs her own lifestyle blog called Sadie’s Ways. Most people would describe Sadie as dedicated, bold, and organized; it’s her goal to do everything to her best ability and to take challenges head-on.

Feel free to contact her at @SadieRBirdFeed or [email protected]

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