Reading Queens: Dancing Toward a Culture of Literacy and Diggin’ It All the Way

Session notes from "Reading Queens: Dancing Toward a Culture of Literacy and Diggin’ It All the Way," presented by Julie Bloss and Liz Garden.

What was the speaker’s main message?

Ignite excitement around reading.

What were the top ideas from the session?

  1. Dollar General Grants for books
  2. Walmart Foundation Grants for books
  3. Join Scholastic Face for cheaper books
  4. Tweet authors and publishers and they will send you books

What is one strategy that you will implement immediately?

I will immediately find ways to stir up interest and excitement for reading in a number of ways:

  • Set up a themed Family Literacy Night (For example, Camp Night with Tents for kids to enter and read.)
  • March Madness
  • Books on the Mantle
  • You’ve been BOOked in October (Leave a book in a classroom with a note that says you’ve been BOOked. The class then does the same thing with one of their classroom library books.)
  • Literacy Parade where students get to dress up as their favorite book character
  • Book Tastings- with staff and students where you set up tables and serve up books. Teachers get to taste different books and decide which books they want to do a book study on. Students get to taste books and decide which they want to read.
  • Allow students to create a great book list from what they have read and would like to recommend for the next set of students of the grade. The lists are shared with the upcoming students at the end of the year.
  • Birthday Book Cart
  • Create fun reading spaces around the school

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

Connect families and community leaders with the school by asking them to read a book on Wednesdays to the school. Record the reading and post on Facebook. The readers hide behind a mask or the book and are revealed at the end of the book.

What is one idea that you want to learn more about?

I want to learn more about using Nevel Effect for musical sound effects while reading.

What is a resource you will check out?

I can’t wait to tell my teachers about this idea:

I cannot wait to tell my staff about the creative ways to raise money to buy books for students. With the Book and Art activity, we choose a book and students create an art exhibit based on the book. Parents come into the building and purchase the art. Staff create art exhibits, too. Money raised is used to buy books for students.

What are some relevant or surprising stats you learned?

If your students read four books over the summer, they will be in a better place in the fall.

Notes by Aqila Malpass, assistant principal, Rocky Ridge Elementary School, Hoover, Alabama.