Students Choosing Birthday Books by Leah Gannon
I am a primary school librarian serving students from 4K-2nd grade. Our school library has a Birthday Book Club. On his/her birthday, each child gets to choose a brand new book free of charge. Students who have summer birthdays may select a book the last week of school. I can’t take credit for the idea, because it was already put in place before I came to my school two years ago. I am in charge of purchasing books. I choose them off of our Scholastic Book Fair or I order them through the Scholastic Dollars Catalog by using funds we make during our school book fairs.
I love the idea of each child receiving a new book on his/her birthday. The kids are so excited to choose a new book that they can keep “FOREVER.” It is essential that our students get their hands on great books from an early age. Our school also has a dollar book store open each Thursday morning before school starts. Our school’s reading coach is over this program. She started it by using Scholastic Teacher Book Club points to purchase new books. Once she made a little money, she started using the funds she makes each week off of the dollar books to keep the store filled with new books. Teachers and parents often donate towards the store, so children that don’t have any money may also choose new books from the store. It warms my heart to see the smiles and excitement of our K4-2nd graders selecting these new books. They love getting to look through and choose a book that will be just right for them.
Both of these programs are two simple ways to promote reading and place books in students’ hands. We need our students to catch the reading bug early on so that they can grow into successful lifelong readers who enjoy reading for knowledge and pleasure.