Teen Read Week , sponsored by the Young Adult Services of the American Library Association is one of my favorite weeks of the year. This year I was determined to have the entire school celebrate Teen Read Week, so I designed some in-library activities but most of the activities were done outside of the library.
The theme this year was “It Came from the Library.” It was a perfect theme for a book display I started off decorating the doors, and then moved to my book display table. The goal was to have mostly zombie, werewolf, and vampire books, with a sprinkling of ghost books to fill in empty slots. There was a sixth grade class in the library as I was putting the display together. I couldn’t get the books on the table and take a good picture before they were snatching them off to check them out!
Also during the week, the students and I worked on a bulletin board that is in the hallway outside the library doors. Entitled “What Are You Reading?” this board gave our students the opportunity to write down their names and the books they were reading for everyone in the school to see.
So that students could see that teachers also liked to read, I asked them to post what they were reading outside their classroom doors. I got almost 100% participation from the teachers.
Outside the school, the art classes worked on sidewalk chalk advertisements for the week. I was really pleased with the results. Unfortunately it rained Thursday night so by Friday morning all of the artwork had washed away.
I decided on three special events during the week. Monday we did “Caught You Reading” day. Our three administrators walked around with buckets of candy and when they found students doing voluntary reading, they handed the candy out. Needless to say, this was a popular activity!
Wednesday we had “Read Aloud Wednesday.” Each teacher in the school was asked to begin every class period by reading aloud a passage from a favorite book, a poem, or a picture book. Some examples of what teachers read include “The Black Cat” by Poe and Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. Teachers reported really enjoying this activity.
Friday was our big day. We held a Read a Thon in the library. Teachers and students were asked to come in, bring a book, and read silently for thirty minute increments. Because I believe it’s important for students to see adults modeling good reading habits, I invited members of our central office staff, our school board, and our county commissioners to also participate. It was the most peaceful day we’ve had in the library for a long time. I wish I could post pictures of the students and adults reading, but our school system has a strict policy about posting pictures of students.
All in all, it was a successful Teen Read Week. I think next year I’m going to add a trivia contest. I’ll probably keep the read a thon and Read Aloud Wednesday.