How do your schools celebrate Read Across America week? I’ve worked in a few schools, and more often than not, the week is celebrated in ways that don’t focus on reading. Weird, right? It’s true, though. We make reading-related crafts, host dress-up days, eat green eggs and ham and have Dr. Seuss birthday cake.
Today, we did have a super reader dress-up day, but more importantly, we hosted our first ever school-wide book swap. Kudos to our reading committee to being open to trying something new, and even more gratitude to our reading specialists for organizing this event.
Starting a few weeks ago, students were invited to donate a book or two. The books were sorted, a schedule was created, and today we held the big event. Teachers brought their classes to our large group instruction area, where books were spread out across tables, inviting a new pair of hands and eyes.
Every child left with a new to you book.
I loved this day for plenty of reasons:
- JOY- kids were downright excited about shopping for and reading a new book!
- COMMUNITY- I heard kids saying, This is a great book for Alexa! They helped one another choose books and after they’d chosen they clumped together, reading their books to one another with no direction to do so.
- SHARING- Books are meant to be shared. When students couldn’t decide, or wished they’d gotten a book that a friend chose, we simply encouraged them to read the book they had and then to swap with their friends when they were ready to do so.
- GIVING- We celebrated the fact that so many had given a book for this event. I know we’ll have even more success next year. We have enough books left over that we’ll be able to get books into kids’ hands this summer.
- READING- Dressing up, making book marks and eating cake are all fun. But so is reading. We were all reminded about finding magic in a book today.