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Reporter's Notebook

May 4, 2013

Teachers say Afton boy was funny, smart

(Continued)

Another story shared by the sixth-grade this week told when Craig one day wore a yellow shirt to school, Werth said. Throughout the day, Craig dropped things and was off balance, at one point falling out of his chair, saying, “Sorry everyone, I am a little buttery today.”

Another student, who was asking Craig if he was OK, lost her balance, and he said, “Oh, you are buttery today, too.’’

For Thursday’s service, the class arranged for a bouquet of 28 “buttery’’ yellow roses, with a white rose representing “God’s newest angel and storyteller,” Werth said. The class plans to plant a memorial garden, she said.

•••

SUNY Oneonta will launch a “common read’’ program featuring a work by a contemporary author who will visit the campus in the fall semester.

In a “common read,” participants read the same literary work for the purpose of critically discussing it, a media release from the State University College at Oneonta said. The program to “enhance first-year student engagement and further infusing cultural literacy into academics.”

Students enrolling this fall will read “Flight” by Native American author, poet and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, an award-winning author. “Flight” is a coming-of-age novel narrated by a 15-year-old foster child who was orphaned at age 6 by the death of his Irish-American mother and abandoned before that by his American Indian father.

Alexie will visit the college for a speaking engagement Sept. 10. His presentation will be free and open to the public.

The “common read” selection will become the basis of curricular and co-curricular programming across several disciplines, college officials said.

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski said the program is an important step.

“In 2010, we committed to advancing diversity as one of six pillars supporting our strategic plan,’’ she said in the release. “The ‘common read’ aligns with this by encouraging students to examine and better understand topics such as equity, inclusion and personal history through many lenses.”

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