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Transcript of Drop.Everything.And.Read
throughout the Year
Month-by-Month Reading Promotions Within the School Library and Beyond
Our libraries are full of great books just waiting to be read. So how can we draw our students in, create an atmosphere of excitement and build a community of avid readers? As librarians, it is our job to grab their attention and get them to WANT to read. We can accomplish this by building interest through a number of creative activities that promote reading.
What follows is a month by month plan of suggested reading promotional activities for your library that will get the students in your school community excited about reading. Let’s zoom in on the calendar and take a closer look…
Reading is a fundamental skill that develops our minds, teaches us about the world around us, allows us to use our imagination and think creatively, and builds our self-esteem. Reading opens the door to new worlds and takes us on amazing adventures!
Why is reading important?
Courtesy of the Seattle
Here’s a fun way to start the year off with some mystery, anticipation and excitement!
Choose several books from a variety of genres, “hide” them within labeled paper sacks, and place them around the library for kids to discover and check out. These intriguing book bags are sealed with a “Grab & Go! Take a Chance!” label and encourage students to “check out the whole bag and discover something new!”
This is a program that can remain active throughout the year or one that can occur for designated periods of time between September and June. Additionally, librarians can target certain genres as “Grab & Go” books or promote books that are not checked out as often. Prizes or incentives can be offered for students who take a chance on a mysterious book waiting to be discovered.
Grab & Go!
Take a Chance!
Create an interactive storywalk experience in your library with some popular seasonal picture books. A storywalk is a gallery style walk that involves replicated stories taken apart and placed on a path for children and their families to read together. Each storypath can include 1-2 related extension activities that allow the students to further explore the story through creative means. A final “treat” can be given to each student at the completion of the storywalk.
“Trick-or-Read”: A Halloween Storywalk Exhibit
Book Character Spirit Day & Read-In
Hold a school-wide spirit day in which students are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character. Teachers can hold Read-Ins in which the students can read alone or buddy-read from books about their chosen characters. The day can culminate with a celebration in which participants are given the opportunity to parade through the school.
Picture Book Month
Classroom Picture Book Celebration
Invite a well-known picture book author to visit your school and conduct a 30-40 minute presentation followed by either an activity or a Q & A. If your desired author is not available for an on-site visit, consider a Skype session which may be an option for a minimal fee.
Take the opportunity to celebrate National Picture Book Month with your students through a variety of exciting literacy activities. Visit
to access a wide variety of wonderful ideas and resources that can be used to promote picture books in your school throughout the entire month of November.
In honor of Picture Book Month, invite teachers to choose a favorite author to focus on with their students. Many activities can
be incorporated, including
reader’s theatre presentations
and a classroom door
Scholastic Book Fair
Bring a Book Fair to your
school to promote a love of reading in the community and get books in your students' hands at minimal cost. Book fairs can happen once or several times throughout the year. Schools can put their profit dollars to good use by purchasing new and exciting titles to add to their library shelves. You can use book fairs to get the whole community involved by holding teacher preview shopping sessions, hosting family nights, and helping kids set reading goals for a cause.
100 Book Challenge
Rekindle your students interest in reading after a long holiday break by challenging them to read 100 books by the end of the year.
Teachers can help support this challenge by sending a parent letter home with 10 pages of links (10 on each page). Once a student has met their goal, they can bring their paper chain to the library, have their picture taken, and receive a prize.
Pajama Story Hour & Read-In
Invite younger students and their families to the library for a special Pajama
Story Hour and Read-In. This unique evening
storytime can be spent alternating between bedtime
themed stories read aloud by special guest readers and
a read-together time for parents and children.
Library Lover's Month
Don't judge a book by its cover
This is an elementary twist on "Blind Date With a Book". Build an element of suspense and mystery with this enticing display of wrapped books that would be available for students to check out all through the month of February. Once finished reading, students can return the book, along with a completed reader review sheet and receive a "sweet treat" in return.
NEA's Read Across America
Plan a reading event (or several!) to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday during the NEA's annual Read Across America event. Consider read-ins, guest readers, a school-wide celebration assembly, classroom activities, and a Dr. Seuss spirit WEEK!
Tournament of Books
Bring the excitement of March Madness into the library and get your students talking about books! This is a contest where the most checked out titles from the previous year face off. Students are invited to cast their votes for their favorite titles through each bracket until one is declared the winner! Students who vote will be entered into a raffle for prizes.
Celebrate National Library Week by shining the spotlight on your school library. Host a library open house for families to highlight LMC services and resources or hold a classroom competition to see which class can check out the most books during a pre-determined
period of time.
Bikes for Books
In 2007, the Unity Masonic Lodge started the Bikes for Books program to get kids excited about reading. You can hold your own Bikes for Books contest in your school. Students can tally their reading minutes during the month of April and those who reach their weekly goals are entered into a drawing to win a brand new bike at the end of the month!
"Get Caught Reading"
"Get Caught Reading" is a nationwide reading campaign sponsored by the Association of American Publishers and is a wonderful motto that can be used to promote reading in your school in a variety of fun ways. Throughout the month, find ways to celebrate students, teachers, administrators, and community members who "get caught reading".
You can choose from the following list of ideas or come up with your own. The possibilities are endless!
Hang posters of celebrities and school faculty reading around the school.
Give disposable cameras to a team of older students who can take photos of students or teachers they "catch" reading and post the photos on a bulletin board.
Dedicate a half hour each day to reading and call it "Get Caught Reading Time."
Set up a Get Caught Reading event in your community, and invite local radio and television personalities and other community figures to read aloud to children.
◾Set up a Get Caught Reading book discussion club which could meet after school or on weekends.
The month of June should be all about promoting programs that will get kids geared up to keep reading all summer long! There are a number of great programs available for kids over the summer months that offer fun incentives for all those summer bookworms. Here is a closer look at a few that your students can get excited about...
KCLS does a wonderful job of promoting summer reading through their annual Summer Reading Challenge. They will even send a librarian out to your school to conduct small assemblies to explain how the challenge works and how kids can get their own library cards.
Teachers can register for Scholastic's free online summer reading challenge that offers kids a way to keep track of their reading minutes, access book lists, earn prizes, etc.
Barnes & Noble bookstores allows kids to download a free reading journal which they can bring in for a free book once they have read 8 books.
The reading promotion ideas outlined in this presentation represent a very small sampling of the ways in which librarians can get their students excited about reading.
Take the time to assess your community's individual needs and choose the activities that will best suit the teachers, students and families represented in your school. Get creative, have fun, think outside the box...the possibilities are endless!
Let's get kids to
By Lori Chmiel
1. Trick-or-Read: A Halloween Storywalk Exhibit. (2014, November 2). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.sturdyforcommonthings.com/2014/11/trick-or-read-a-halloween-storywalk-exhibit/
2. Davis, K. (2013, October 31). November is Picture Book Month | What is a Picture Book? Retrieved March 13, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/
3. Homepage | Scholastic Book Fairs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/
4. 100 book challenge. (2011, February 20). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://theteacherwife.blogspot.com/2011/02/100-book-challenge.html
5. Tournament of Kids' Books 2013. (2013, March 3). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.sturdyforcommonthings.com/2013/03/tournament-of-kids-books-2013/
6. Programs for school-aged kids. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.ala.org/alsc/kickstart
1. National Picture Book Month: http://picturebookmonth.com/
2. Book Fairs: http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/
3. NEA's Read Across America: http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm
4. Bikes for Books: http://www.grandlodgemi.org/books-for-bikes.cfm
5. National Library Week: http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/celebrationweeks/natlibraryweek
6. Get Caught Reading: http://www.getcaughtreading.org/
7. Summer Reading Programs ~ KCLS: http://www.kcls.org/kids/summer/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/summer-reading/379003570
8. Author Visits: http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/tradebooks/inviteanauthor.htm
9. Reading Promotion Activity Resources:
Photos courtesy of Sturdy for Common Things Web Blog
Photo courtesy of The Teacher Wife Web Blog
Photo courtesy of Sturdy for Common Things Web Blog
7. Background music: King, Kaki. "Bari Improv." August Rush: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Warner Brothers, 2007.