Our library is a favorite place on our campus. Students, teachers, and parents enjoy looking for books or doing research among the collection of more than 7000 books and four computers.
Classes go to the library for 30 minutes each week. Library visits begin with a story or library skills games lead by our librarian. These games reinforce how to care for books and how libraries work. We also discuss how books are arranged in the library using the Dewey Decimal System. Children study special units such as Fairy Tales and Tall Tales where they are taught about the skills of comparing and contrasting to better understand literature. Students in grades 4-5 also work on skills using dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedias and almanacs.
For 10-15 minutes, the students checkout one or two books for the week. During this time, many students take Accelerated Reader quizzes on the computer, research information, or just read, read, read.
Our Accelerated Reader program encourages students to read and take quizzes to check comprehension on a computer. Students earn points and at certain increments, are awarded a certificate at a school assembly to recognize their reading success. Students also earn a variety or rewards with their AR points such as books, fuzzy bookmarks, sunglasses, and lunch totes. They go to the library on Mondays to turn-in their points and collect their earned reward.
Since we started class competitions in February of 2009 for the most books read and tested on the AR program, students make sure that they have a book to read at home and at school. During our D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) program on Thursday, adults and children alike stop whatever they are doing and read for enjoyment. This has increased the circulation of books and has heightened the excitement for reading. In addition to motivating children to read, our purpose is to teach students how to set goals and how to increase reading comprehension.
All students participate in the “California Young Reader Medal Award” program. Each year, a committee of librarians and teachers select a few children’s books for review. These books are read to the students. The students then choose one title as their favorite. The author of the winning book receives recognition, letting them know that children in California liked their book the best. Children look forward to each January, when they get to vote for their favorite book.
We have two book fairs and a Read-a-Thon each year to raise funds for our library. The Read-a-Thon repeats the same theme as the Book Fair such as “Reading is the Ticket!” or “The Kingdom or Reading – Where Books Rule!” In addition, students can purchase pencils for a quarter in the library during their library period or at snack recess on Monday. Proceeds go to the library for the purchase of books and magazines.
On any day, you will find students in our library. Our librarian appreciates the questions that students ask about authors and books and often purchases books based on student requests. Our goal is to have all children develop a love of learning, become enthusiastic readers, and to be able to proficiently access information.