School libraries promote reading culture

e-Connections Post Genevieve F. Didion

Genevieve Didion K-8 Media Tech Cathy Rechs sees her job as creating and sustaining a reading culture at the school. That means working to get students to view reading as fun.

Two successful examples of that ongoing effort at Didion included the Storybook Pumpkin decorating contest in the fall and the spring’s Battle of the Books.

Last October, students in grades K-8 were invited to decorate a pumpkin inspired by a favorite book.  They decorated pumpkins as Very Hungry Caterpillars, Hermione Granger, and Captain Underpants and other favorite storybook characters. One group of industrious 5th graders created the Lion, Tin Man, Dorothy, the Wicked Witch and Toto from The Wizard of Oz! The student creations adorned the library shelves for the month and were on display during the school’s Fall Festival. Over the last two years, Didion students have created nearly 200 amazing literary pumpkins!

To celebrate Read Across America week, Didion middle school students participated initiated their first annual Battle of the Books.  It all began in January when Rechs, selected six books for the battle. The selections represented a wide range of genres and interests. The 7th and 8th grade students formed three to five person teams read the books and studied hard.  On March 3rd, the teams met on “field of battle” – Didion’s gymnasium – for an epic trivia tournament based on the books. Participating students  all concluded the event with a pizza party. It was an event that will definitely be scheduled for next year.

A third event is held in May. Didion kids will be hard at work in the library binding their student-written books for their Young Author’s Project, before preparing for their “Summer Reading Book Swap” and looking ahead to a new event … a Harry Potter themed family reading night.