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Madera unified touts research and writing

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Nancy Simpson looks at a series of Madera Method books that will be donated to school libraries.


School libraries get unique Madera Method books

When the bell rings in August to start the new school year, every library in Madera Unified School District will have a unique collection of special books.

On display for all to see will be six of the most popular Madera Method volumes. The sets are placed in each school to promote the local research and writing program.

The Madera Method is a research and writing program that was founded in 1985 at Howard School. For the next 15 years, Madera schools published several Madera Method books, and Madera Unified has determined to continue the innovative strategy.

Last year, 8th graders from Dixieland School produced a biography of Gabriel B. Moore, an ex-slave who lived on the Kings River. This year, 8th graders from Eastin-Arcola and La Vina Schools wrote a book on the history of African-Americans in Madera.

The special collections on display in the libraries include the following books:

1) The Minturn Chronicles tells the story of a pioneer family that left Rhode Island to settle on the banks of the Chowchilla River. They laid the foundation for civilization in the Chowchilla area.

2) Shepherd’s Home tells the story of the Daulton Ranch and the family that founded it.

3) Refuge is the saga of how a young Confederate soldier left the South in 1868 and found success on the banks of Cottonwood Creek by becoming the founding father of Madera County.

4) Shadows of the Past tells the story of a Mexican ‘49er who laid the foundation for the Hispanic presence in Madera.

5) The McAlister Family is the story of the journey from slavery to the 20th century for one Madera family.

6) The Stormy Days of 1836 illustrates how a Madera class worked with a class in Texas to tell the story of the Texas Revolution.

The next Madera Method project will be entitled, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: Stories of Courage.

Eighth graders from Eastin Arcola and La Vina will interview some of Madera’s prominent African-Americans in an attempt to understand and communicate what it took to overcome Jim Crow in Madera.


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