The Jeremiah E. Burke High School hosted a special Big Cheese Reads session last week, which saw readers pairing up to speak with larger groups of students about the value of literacy. Among the readers was Fast Company co-founder and author Bill Taylor, who met with 9th grade students to read an excerpt from his book Practically Radical and discuss the mindset it takes to accomplish great things in life. Bill was joined by Big Cheese Reads initiative founder Steve Biondolillo.

This year’s Big Cheese Reads Gala honoree Steve Krichmar teamed up with Human Health Risk Assessor Courtney Carroll of the US Environmental Protection Agency to discuss career success. In addition, student readers from the Burke shared original works, including an essay on MBTA and the future of public transportation.

Prior to the readings, Boston Partners in Education donated a 3D printer to the Burke’s Science Club. In May, the Burke High School will be recognized at Boston Partners’ Gala for its exemplary use of academic mentors in the classroom.

Boston Partners in Education’s Big Cheese Reads initiative introduces business, community, and cultural leaders (“Big Cheeses”) to middle school students in the Boston Public Schools through a one-time classroom visit. During this visit, “Big Cheeses” read to the students and share experiences that emphasize the vital role literacy plays in future achievement, particularly career success. Since its inception in 2004, over 400 corporate and community leaders have gone back into the classroom to support the initiative.