This is the first summer that I spent time at school pretty much every week. While my own children were at camp, I was in my classroom with students. Some were adding to my mural above my left wall, and others were working on adding a little school spirit to our district’s two Little Free Libraries. The goal was simple: to encourage reading.
The mural came about from a conversation I had with one of my classes last year. I showed students a picture from a Mississippi school that added book bindings to their hallway lockers:
My students loved the idea, but our district already has a locker project we do each first day of school: students paint their own locker magnets. If we wanted to add book bindings, we needed to come up with a new area to display them. One part of my classroom wall didn’t have anything on it, since it was above the door and thus an awkward spot. My students thought it would be perfect, and immediately began suggesting book titles. Now ten weeks later, here are some pictures of the almost-finished mural:
The Little Free Libraries came about through my own doing. I have been trying to get more students reading over the summer, and I was disappointed with the results I got last summer during my “summer library hours.” I just couldn’t seem to encourage more than 8-10 students to come into the building to check out books to read, so I figured I needed to get the books out to them. I bought a Little Free Library for my own home, and have had great success with it, so I thought my district would benefit from them too. We had a Jeans Day to raise money, and then the PTSA donated the rest. Now we have two Little Free Libraries painted with our school colors that will be housed in the district. District employees live at both homes, so I will receive updates on how the libraries are working out. The “Harry Potter” one that went up last week has already had many visitors! The “John Green” one will be picked up this week. I can only hope that these libraries will get books into the hands of children and their parents.
How does your district encourage reading? Feel free to share below in the “Comments” section.