Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School

Quick Picks

Students in Courtney Johnson’s sophomore English class at Fort Arts and Academic High School are given an amazing opportunity to become lifelong literature lovers.  Through Courtney’s tireless work, her students are highly educated, prepared for leadership and service and empowered for success as citizens in a global community.

Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson shares some of her favorite books.

Courtney, a librarian, teacher and advocate for education was the recipient of a competitive $5,000 grant from the Book Love Foundation, empowering her to transform her classroom into a library.  Her bookshelves offer an impressive array of contemporary and classic literature.  

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Students are sure to find a book that will capture their imagination from this wide selection.

Students spend time reading at the beginning of every class.  She partners with students one-on-one to discuss what they are reading and helps them select books that will ignite their interests.  Courtney shared she is fortunate to have certain level of freedom at Fort Hayes, giving her the opportunity to create a non-traditional model for teaching English where students select their own literature.  Students read short pieces as a group to learn how to analyze and think critically.  Then they journal, collect new vocabulary words and capture thoughts to share from books they read.  Courtney estimates her students read between 20 and 40 books each year.

Classroom Panorama

Library merges with classroom.

Courtney strives to maintain a collection of items that will appeal to each student.  She constantly reads about new books, consulting other teachers, Good Reads, Facebook, book lists and students.  Her goal is to “know the kid, know the book and make the match.”  She particularly strives to represent diversity in literature and sees a strong need for more diversity.

Favorites of Class 2017

Favorites of the Class of 2017 are displayed at the front of the room.

Courtney’s library is organized by subject, including graphic novels (a great gateway for reluctant readers), “quick picks” (easier books), peer student recommendations, fiction, sci-fi, LGBQ and sports.

Weekley Reading Rate

Students calculate their reading rate to determine how many pages they are required to read each week.

This month, Courtney embarks on her third year of teaching with a classroom library.  She is excited to introduce new students to the joy of reading.  She also plans to apply for another Book Love Foundation grant for the whole school.  Her vision is for each classroom to have its own library.  When students are immersed in books, it’s hard for them not to embrace reading.

Building 520-2

The classroom is located in this building on Fort Hayes’ campus.

Class 2017 Picks

A selection of student favorites.

Classroom 2

The classroom.

Stories from the World

Stories from the world.

Memiors and Biographies

Memoirs and biographies.

Read Like a Champion

Students are encouraged to “read like a champion” when they enter Courtney Johnson’s classroom.


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