Category Archives: Pay It Forward

May 06

One Author, One Librarian, One Teacher; Three Nerds by Nora Raleigh Baskin, Beth Parmer, and Jimmy Sapia

Nora: When I was asked if I would be willing to teach creative writing at an underperforming middle school in an urban neighborhood with a very small budget, my first question was: What does “underperforming” mean? But I was willing– despite how little they could pay or what that meant exactly– because I’ve been feeling, […]

May 05

Advocating for More #YALit by Oona Marie Abrams

You’ve just finished a new YA novel.  Wow, you think to yourself. This book is awesome. It totally reminds me of …. But, since you are a literacy teacher, of course, you think far beyond this. You start to think about how and why this book can and should have a home beyond just your […]

May 04

Creating Joyful Summer Reading Plans by Pernille Ripp

“Mrs. Ripp, did you know there is only 30 days left after today? “   He looks at me expectantly, clearly excited about the end of 7th grade and all that will happen during the summer.   “No more reading, no more school, just freedom…”   And I realize once again that although we have […]

April 30

A Book Club for Everyone…the Importance of Diversity in Books by Don Vu

A few weeks ago, one of my teachers, Jennifer DeBortoli, gave me a copy of a book titled, A Different Pond by Bao Phi. She left it on my desk with a note that just said, “Don- I think you’ll like this book”. She was wrong. I loved this book. A Different Pond is a […]

April 11

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, […]

Read Like The Bachelor: A Guide for Students by Kate Roberts

So one of the more embarrassing facts about me is that my wife and I are pretty committed Bachelor and Bachelorette watchers. In fact, we have not missed an episode in about ten years.   We take no pride in this, yes there is a good deal of shame. I’m sure you know people like […]

February 16

Incombustible Ideas: The Subtle Bigotry of Book Banning by Jennifer LaGarde and Travis Crowder

Books are powerful. They have the unique ability to transform, inspire, and educate, all while wrapping us in the singularly connective tissue of story. The ideas in books also have the potential to challenge the status quo, make us think differently, and encourage change in our world: a power which some find frightening. In her […]

January 29

#BookExpedition: How a middle grade book group came together to read widely for themselves, their students, and each other.

When I spotted this Tweet from educator Mike Contuzzi, I was intrigued.     Educator reading groups were popping up on Twitter, but I had no idea how they worked. I replied to Mike (who has since left #BookExpedition), wondering what I’d signed up for.   Now a #BookExpedition veteran, I love the distance reading […]

January 08

Be the Example by Sarah Krajewski

“Mommy, can we go have a picnic now? Mommy? Hello, Mommy!” I swear I wasn’t intentionally ignoring my daughter, but she caught me in the zone. You know exactly which “zone” I’m talking about: that place you go when a book is so enthralling that the rest of your world disappears. That’s where I was […]

December 11

Don’t Be the Grumpy Film Critic of Children’s Literature by Mike Grosso

Do you remember the last time critics panned a film you admired? If you’re like me, you probably wrote your own imaginary impassioned response chock full of frustration and disbelief. The critic is entitled to their opinion, of course, but as a filmgoer you’ll reconsider the authenticity of their words the next time you see […]