You probably noticed my unusually long absence from this blog the last month. Well my life has finally slowed down enough that I can tell you why!
It all started because I decided to do Book-It with my first graders this year. Book-It is a reading program sponsored by Pizza Hut where students earn certificates for free pizza when they read at home. I did it growing up and it was my favorite thing! I remember our family would all walk to Pizza Hut because it was so close to our house and Tahnee and I would get our free pizza and a star sticker for our Book-It pin.
Do you remember this Tahnee??
I had always loved to read but this made it even more fun! Having had such fond memories I decided to start it with my students! So we started it and I kept reminding the kids to be reading and several of them always responded, "I don't have books at home." I couldn't keep hearing that without doing something about it so I decided to start a library for our school. Oh, yeah I forgot to mention that our school doesn't have a library. We don't have space for one and we don't have the resources. I started trying to raise funds and asking for donations. After 3 weeks no one was helping except Half-Price Books. But they came through in a big way....
They donated 13 boxes of books for free! Here it the first book cart. Joel and I sorted, leveled, labeled and put pockets and check-out cards in all of the books! (on top of the fundraising, this is how I was spending all of my free time...hence no blogging) I am putting together another one right now as well. So now our students will have access to about 900 books! It has been SO much work but it is SO worth it. The students are all really excited! I also trained 5 students on how to be the librarians! It was really fun teaching them and playing library. I just kept thinking of myself as a little girl and how excited I would have been to be chosen for this special job and get to do the date stamping on the cards etc!
I also started a school wide reading competition called "Going For Gold" where students are competing to earn medals based on the number of books they have read. The classroom that earns the most medals will win the "Going For Gold Trophy". I am hoping that it will encourage all students to use the book cart and start reading! I know there are some students that already love to read but I am hoping to reach the students that aren't reading at home. Reading is the best way to improve their academics over all so pray with me that this makes a difference!
I want to take this time to personally thank my mom and dad for having books at home for us, for taking us the the library and for setting an amazing example by reading yourselves!
Last week I received a magazine in my school mailbox addressed to the School Library Media Specialist ... while I am a bit stressed thinking about what I have taken on, the little girl inside of me is smiling at the thought that I am the librarian :-)