Monday, February 8, 2010

The More Kids Read, the Better They Read:
Motivating Kids to Read School-Wide

The faculty at Case Middle School in Watertown, New York, is going all out to keep students reading. Their theory is that it doesn’t matter what students are reading so long as they are reading. To that end, the school is beefing up school and classroom libraries with a wide variety of books, including traditional novels, books of poetry, and books written in screenplay format. They’ve developed new programs, too, including the “Caught Reading at Case” program, which rewards kids who are caught reading after they finish a test or during lunch and other free-time periods.
Read more about what the faculty at Case Middle School is doing in this article from the Watertown Daily Times:
Case Work: Give Students Reason to Read
With the NEA’s Read Across America event just around the corner (March 2) and Get Caught Reading Month coming up in May, I thought this might be an ideal time to share some excellent resources that you can use in your school to encourage reading across the grades.


Get Caught Reading, which was started by former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder and is supported by the Association of American Publishers, has a great poster series that features dozens of celebrities -- from sports and entertainment stars to members of Congress and even Clifford the Big Red Dog -- all of whom were “caught reading.” Use this order form to order from 1 to 12 of the posters for just $5.00 shipping and handling. A handful of those posters are even available as downloadable wallpaper for your school’s computer screens. The folks at Get Caught Reading also provide ideas for “catching” students reading in your school. For example,
● Dedicate 30 minutes each day to "Get Caught Reading Time."
● Take pictures of kids and community members who were caught reading.
● Invite local personalities and community figures to read aloud to children.
● Ask children to draw their own version of someone or something that "got caught reading" and post the drawings on bulletin boards. (One student in New Jersey got her picture displayed on a billboard!)

Another organization deeply involved in the belief that kids who read more read better is Reading is Fundamental. They offer a wide variety of resources, including these resources for parents that you should feel free to adapt for use in your school-to-home newsletters.
● 20 Ways for Parents to Encourage Reading
● Getting the Family Excited About Magazines
● Getting Your Child to Love Reading
● How to Nurture a Growing Reader
● Increasing Motivation: Tips From Kids
● Simple Things Families Can Do to Help Their Child Become a Reader
● Children Who Can Read, But Don’t… (How to Lead Reluctant Readers Age 9-13 Back to Books)
Find all of those articles at this Reading is Fundamental link: Motivating Kids to Read.

Finally, the folks at Read Across America provide tons of resources to help you create a most special day in your school. Perhaps you will invite students to send an e-card about a book they are reading to a friend or family member or to print out colorful calendar pages. And, of course, Read Across America offers great ideas for special reading events as well as activity ideas that include a Read Across America song (sheet music provided) and The Reader’s Oath. And new this year: produce a video about kids and reading like the video below that shows parents at one school engaging kids in reading and cooking up a special treat of green eggs and ham; then post your video to the Read Across America Channel on SchoolTube.

What is one thing you are doing in your school to encourage readers to read more? Thanks 1,000,000 for adding your comment below so other school leaders might benefit from your ideas.

1 comment:

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