The second project on my summer to-do list is:
One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten!
I first heard of this type of program last year from this blog post by the librarian blogger over at Bryce Don’t Play. It’s mostly a thing that public libraries do, and it runs much like summer reading programs. I did a similar you-read-and-log-your-books-and-maybe-win-a-prize type of program in my first year at MNW (I guess I never blogged about it! It was called “Read Around the World” and we tracked the number of pages that our students “traveled” – one page equaled one mile). A reprise of that didn’t interest me much, because how we had it set up, Donna and I were the ones who did all the work (well, except the reading, of course!). There had to be a better way.
But when I did more research, I found this handout from the Colorado State Library, which included this link to a Massachusetts school and how they did the program. Eureka!! So we’re basically doing what they’ve done. We will have 100-120 bags of ten books each available for checkout to children and families ages 0-5, not yet in kindergarten. They will check out a bag for up to two weeks, and we will keep track of what bags they’ve checked out. Parents will get a tracking sheet to keep at home. When they’ve checked out 10 bags (100 books), there will be a small prize, then at 250, 500, 750, and at 1,000 books, they get a trophy and their picture in the newspaper. The benefits of this program are many, but the big one, of course, is that we better prepare students for kindergarten. The program is open to all the families in our district, including homeschooling families (I homeschooled my kids!), and also families who already open enroll here. We want to have this ready for the preschool open house in the fall, so, we better get to it!
The steps so far:
*Get artwork made – The intrepid Josh Anderson made this fabulous logo for the initiative. Isn’t it fantastic??
*Send out letters to businesses asking for donations – Feel free to donate, too! (We’ll send you a receipt for your donation.)
*Order the bags (Graphic Edge in Carroll – isn’t it great on the blue?)
*Figure out the logistics of the program – getting the books (Scholastic Book Fairs is helping provide those), creating the tracking sheets, building the space to keep the bags not checked out
There’s a lot more to be done, but we’re getting there. I can’t wait to roll it out officially with parents and children in the fall!