It’s that time again when I begin to feel a tingly excitement about the all the possibilities of a brand new school year!
Last year, with the support of my principal and a new flexible library schedule, I focused heavily on collaborating with teachers and supporting them in implementing the Common Core curriculum. I will certainly continue that this year, but I also want to spend devote more time and effort to building a school-wide culture of reading. One of my most important roles as a school librarian is to be a “reading cheerleader” and I have several new ideas for doing that.
I have already noted a variety of local, national, and international reading events on my school library calendar (you will see them in red), and I will spend the next two weeks rounding up teacher and parent volunteers to help with planning and execution of these programs. Ideas that aren’t scheduled yet but that I’m working on creating include:
- a visit from Cocky’s Reading Express (“Cocky” is the University of South Carolina mascot. He travels around the state with USC students who read to school kids and share the importance of reading.)
- a Teacher Book Club that involves reading and discussing chapter books that would make good classroom readalouds
- a Family Reading Night that allows children and parents to enjoy reading activities together
- a Reading Partnership program between our students and students from the middle school next door
- Bedtime Stories at the Library for our Kindergarten students (and possibly a separate night for 1st graders)
- Wee Bee Reading – a monthly story time for the 2-3 year-old siblings of our students (the name comes from the fact that our school mascot is the Busy Bee)
- mandatory “sustained silent reading” time in the classroom each day to provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in pleasure reading
I also want to encourage students to participate more in online book discussions via my Book Buzz blog. I’m thinking about asking students to write guest posts for the blog to talk about their favorite books and authors. I’d also like to see more teacher participation in the blog, so maybe I’ll ask for some guest posts from them too.
What innovative ideas are you using to build excitement for reading at your school? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!