At the end of each school year I make a promise to my students: Anyone who brings in a reading log (signed by a parent) or a reading certificate, showing that they participated in some sort of summer reading, will be invited to an Ice Cream Sundae Party when school starts back in August!
Once students are back in school, we allow two to three weeks for students to bring in their “proof” of summer reading, and then we hold the party in the Library Media Center. I provide reminders on the library web page, on the morning announcements, via emails to the teachers, and in person during Library classes. And finally, the big day arrives!
This year’s party was held last Friday (Sept. 2) with 41 excited participants crowding around the check-out counter chattering loudly. We had three flavors of ice cream, two flavors of syrup, whipped cream, and five different candy/cookie/nut toppings for students to choose from. Two of our other related arts teachers helped me serve and my assistant took pictures.
(Normally I would have a couple of faithful parents involved, but this year our newly unified school district is requiring SLED background checks on anyone wishing to volunteer in our schools. To date only two of my regulars have filled out applications, and neither has received the results of the investigation yet.)
Now, maybe 41 students isn’t a large number, compared to our total enrollment of 762 students. But I’m encouraged that since I started doing this in 2008, the number of participants has approximately doubled each year. If this trend continues, we’ll have outgrown the library by next year, and we’ll need to move our celebration into the cafeteria! Hooray!
Here’s the Animoto video I posted on my Library page: