Developing students into readers who read & talk about books, who clamor to get their hands on the next hot title: this is one of my goals as an elementary librarian. I want to build a generation of passionate readers.
So as I reflect on this school year – on my students, on their reading needs – I look at all aspects of my program to see if the choices I’m making best meets this goal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my current grade 3 & 4 students. They’ll be the grade 4/5 students next year who need continued inspiration to jump into and continue exploring the wonders of middle grade novels. They deserve something amazing, something inspiring, something that will awaken their passion for reading. And as the person they come to for book advice, I can’t let them down.
So next year, I’m trying something new to inspire them to read with wild abandon. My students, along with others in some nearby schools, will be participating in the first (possibly annual) Rainier Reading Challenge. It’s a bracket-style competition with 8 books vying to make it to the top of Mt. Rainier (which we can see on a clear day here in the PNW). Voting will happen in stages, so student engagement should stay high. Student interest, diversity of authors/characters, reading levels, professional reviews, genres, and cover images were all considered when selecting the 8 titles.
You’re welcome to join. More info on the award and its eight titles to be shared tomorrow.
PS: a huge shout-out to my friends Julie, Leah, Sarah, Christina, Juliana, and Elizabeth – thank you for listening, for offering feedback, and for being an awesome Professional Learning Community. This wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you to my son H for coming up with the name Rainer Reading Challenge. You’re one of those I hope to inspire to read with wild abandon.