ASPIRE ("A Summer Program in Reading Enrichment") enjoyed its third year at Tampa Prep. Faculty, staff and members of administration research and "sponsor" various fiction and non-fiction books for students to enjoy over the summer as part of the required summer reading. ASPIRE encourages students to read for pleasure and expand their critical thinking skills. The program allows students in different grade levels to interact with one another during lively discussions about the readings. Faculty and staff volunteer as sponsors to oversee the conversations and group activities.

Mrs. Stacia Hottle was the sponsor for the upper school group that read Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. This fictional novel takes place in Ketterdam, a city inspired by Amsterdam. The six main characters are outcasts who come together to pull off a deadly heist.

As part of the discussion, students made signs that would hang outside the six main characters' college dorm rooms. The group focused on the widely different personalities of the main characters and what they might be like in a college setting, allowing group creativity.

Mrs. Sarah Lonetto's middle school ASPIRE group read Courage for Beginners, by Karen Harrington. Courage for Beginners is about a girl in 7th grade and wishes she was the main character of a fictional book to fix her troubles. For the discussion, students traced their hands on paper and filled them with characteristics specific to the main character, Mysti Murphy. The group discussed the vivid characters, plot conflicts and the overall message of change and courage.

ASPIRE groups are separated by upper school and middle school, allowing students the chance to interact with people from different grade levels and form new bonds. It's also a unique way for students to interact with faculty and staff they might otherwise not. ASPIRE continues to create a place where students and faculty can openly discuss books and connect with one another.