Friday, October 19, 2012

Bringing New Reading Events To Van Meter....And Something Very Special To A Little Place In The Library

"The more that you read, the more things that you'll know.  
The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  
Dr. Seuss, from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

That has always been one of my favorite quotes about reading.  

When I was little, my mom surrounded my sister, brother, and I with books and connections to reading.  I grew up with a passion for reading and learning.  As I become a mom 18 years ago, that was one of the first things I wanted to pass onto my sweet daughter and sons.  And as I became a librarian and teacher, I wanted to pass this passion onto the young people I worked with everyday.  

I am constantly looking for and creating experiences for our students to connect to rich reading activities; wonderful authors and their books; and to bring their passion out into the world as they explore their own personal reading experiences and connections as well.  

When I received an email a few weeks back asking if I wanted to serve on a committee, I was excited to see that we were going to start the "Van Meter Reading Committee."  Of course I wanted to be part of this committee....It was a perfect fit!  This last Monday during our professional development day, our assistant principal Janelle Thompson passed out a cute folder to everyone for the various committees they committed to serving on. 

We did a little brainstorming on what the new reading committee could do, what we wanted to do, how we could make a difference in the lives of our young people and school community through literacy.  Over the next 30 minutes, the reading committee came up with wonderful ideas.  
The ideas were captured in the Van Meter Reading Committee Google Doc and this will continue to grow with more ideas as the year progresses.  

As you can see, we planned several really great events that everyone will love.  A reading celebration the whole day before we get out for Thanksgiving break and Family Reading/Funds4Books Night in January will be so much fun and bring tons of excitement about reading and learning to all of the young people and their families.  We spoke about R.I.F. and inspiring others to read.  
And the one I am most excited about....starting a weekly D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) time within our school.  We came up with a schedule that would stagger a weekly time each Friday, sometimes on another day if we had a vacation or professional development day. By staggering the time, D.E.A.R. would fall during different related arts times as well as every other week.  Since I teach the elementary classes in the afternoon, along with the other related arts classes, I wanted to make sure we were part of D.E.A.R. too.  

I can't wait to see EVERYONE within our school drop everything and read!  What an impact this will make.  
We have one more BIG surprise this week from the library.

I am the National Honor Society sponsor at Van Meter.  During our first brainstorming meeting at the beginning of the year, our chapter thought of all kinds of ways we could give back to our community.  One of the best ideas they had was to have a "Book Drive" or "Book Swap."  My NHS kids wanted to do something special for our younger ones, while supporting reading and learning within our community too.

So when our reading committee brought up having a "Book Swap", I told them that the NHS would be perfect to help with that project.  We could partner and take it on together.  We also thought that having a "Book Swap" every month or for special occasions, like a PBIS reward.

Soooooo that night after talking with our reading committee and the NHS, I thought that wouldn't it be cool to actually have a place we could keep the book swap, a place where books could be dropped off, and picked up to read.

And it came to me....THE LITTLE CLOSET in the library!
It's that closet that we all have....the one that is there to collect stuff like old posters, paint cans, boxes, old projectors, and other junk.  Why not turn this into the "Book Swap" place....a little book store in the library.  I couldn't wait to tell my NHS kids and the other teachers on the reading committee....They all loved the idea too.

Several of the high school kids are meeting Monday night to paint the inside of the closet and transform  it into this special new space.  There are a couple of them measuring and building shelves, a wooden sign is being constructed, and books are being donated.

One thing we are a little stuck on is the perfect name for the space.  We have thought about a name to go along with our "Spice Up The Shelves" theme, like "The Spice Book Shop" or "Spice It Up With A Book."  Someone mentioned "The Road To Reading" and another said "Book Pit."  We are going to nail down a name by Monday, so please add any suggestions in the comments below.

And as Dr. Seuss said....."Oh the places you'll go".

Just think about where we will go this year with reading, learning, and coming together as a community even more.


  1. The Book Nook (Take a look in the Book Nook!)

    1. Hi there,

      I LOVE that too.....That would be cute. :) Thank you, Shan

  2. I was thinking the same thing! Book Nook creates a cozy feeling...

    1. I do love that, Joy. :)

      I hope your weekend will be happy, friend.


  3. As I sit here in my big city school I wish we did half as much as you and your colleagues do at Van Meter. Your has to be the biggest little school in the world. I'm so excited I'm going to get a chance to visit early next year... I can hardly wait.

    1. Deven,

      I am so excited to have you at Van Meter too....We will have such a great time. :) Thank you for always being so supportive of me.....I love being in the same profession together.

      Have a happy weekend, my friend, Shan

  4. Way to go with creative use of space, love it!

    1. Thank you. :) It will be a really fun space.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Shannon