Monday, March 29, 2010

Get Set to Celebrate Books During
School Library Month, Children’s Book Week

Your students might not end up appearing on Oprah’s show like the kids at Ocoee Middle School did earlier this month, but the video those Florida students created [above] might make a nice reading motivator to share with your students.

When Ococee’s reading coach, Janet Bergh, was looking for a way to motivate readers at her school she thought it would be fun to recreate the dancing flash-mob scene that the Black Eyed Peas originated on Oprah's show for their song “Tonight Is Going to Be a Good Night” [see that video].

“Students have a lot of other interests,” Bergh told the Orlando Sentinel. “Oftentimes reading takes a back seat to those interests. It’s not always cool to be seen with a book.” [Read the Orlando Sentinel article.]

But the video and all the attention it has garnered have made reading a very cool thing to do at OMS. And it could do the same at your school. With School Library Month/National Library Week and Children’s Book Week right around the corner, you might build excitement by sharing the flash-mob video or recreating it with your own students. The song lyrics, which are available online [lyric source 1, lyric source 2], could be easily adapted to your school and state.


National Library Week
This year, National Library Week (April 11-17), and its companion celebration in schools, School Library Month, are times to celebrate the contributions of libraries and librarians and to promote library use. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Communities Thrive @ your library.” The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) offers many resources for school libraries, including a flyer with 30 Days of Activities for School Library Month (PDF format) and their popular Toolkits. The American Library Association (ALA) offers many additional resources; its new Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit includes tips for staging rallies in support of libraries.

Children’s Book Week
Join millions of others in celebrating Children’s Book Week (CBW) from May 10-16. CBW began in 1919 with the idea that children’s books can change lives. In communities around the country, local celebrations emphasize the importance of books and reading in a child’s life. Larger national programs help direct attention to the vital role literacy plays for every child. As Frederick Melcher, a founder of Children’s Book Week, stated so well: “A great nation is a reading nation.” This year, Every Child a Reader (part of the Children’s Book Council Foundation) and Scholastic are teaming up to provide the annual Book Week poster [pictured] free of charge. For the cost of an envelope and postage stamps, you can send for free posters to display throughout your school. Learn how to order posters for your school.


Find many lesson plan and activity ideas, as well as ideas for school-wide reading celebrations, on these Education World archive pages:.
National Library Week
Children’s Book Week

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