By Anastasia Gruper
“Your book fair was a huge success,” said the second grader on her way to library. “We get to take these books home with us? And keep them?” questioned the fourth grade boy carrying two books back to class. “Do you have any books about dogs?” inquired the third grade boy as he scanned the tables. “What about Fly Guy? Do you have any Fly Guy books?” wondered the first grade boy. “Do you want to read with me?” asked the precious third grade girl holding her two picks. The questions and statements heard throughout the LMC at Glacier Ridge today was a true testament to the power of putting self selected books into the hands of kids.
A to Z Literacy toted in boxes of books to distribute to the students at District 47 Summer School today. After boxes were unpacked and sorted on tables, I was charged with walking room to room to bring the students down to pick two of their favorites. The enthusiasm was contagious; it felt like I was announcing the winners of the lottery. After trying to contain the excitement down the hallway, entering the library for the kids to peruse the tables of books was electrifying. Watching Mal, Dave, Anna, Alia, Wendy, teachers, and students talk to each other about books was like watching children unwrap presents at Christmas.
“Is this a mystery?” a boy asked me. “Nate the Great? Yeah, that’s a mystery,” I replied. “Great, thanks. I’ll take this one,” the boy replied walking over to a chair and opening the book to read. “Where would I find Elephant and Piggie books?” was a little louder than the hum of book talking. “Over in that corner,” came the reply. Creating the opportunity to have authentic conversations; offering the tools to pick the right books; and giving a book of choice creates a community of readers. Thank you A to Z for creating a community of readers today.
I am so very proud of the efforts of A to Z Literacy, the world will definitely be a better place because of the hard work of everyone involved.
I was a witness to the eager children who were happily perusing these books. Everyone from the child happiest to be attending summer school to the most reluctant reader was caught up in the excitement!