Category Archives: Pay It Forward

July 28

The Great Graphic Novel Experiment by Sarah FitzHenry

I hear it often: “Kids won’t read real books anymore.” Two or three times a week, a parent— such a powerful voice in the reading life of a child— will come to my school library and roll their eyes while they ask me how to get their child to “put down the comics.” Often, the […]

June 30

Reading Promotion: Transforming the Reading Culture of a K-8 Building by Allison Stout and Jill Ramig

In the fall of 2016, we were inspired by Jillian Heise and the #classroombookaday program (see Jillian’s July 3, 2017 Nerdy Book Club post “#classroombookaday & the Power of Shared [Picture Book] Stories”).  We knew we wanted to bring the idea to Remington Traditional School.  We recruited two other non-classroom teachers to adopt a room […]

June 23

“Eight reasons we’re ready: Human Rights, Social Justice, and LGBTQ Book Clubs” by Emily Meixner, Rachel Scupp, and Rachel’s 8th grade students at Grover Middle School

Last fall, I had the good fortune of being welcomed into Rachel Scupp’s 8th grade IRLA (Integrated Reading Language Arts) classes.  Earlier in the summer, I had mentioned to Rachel that I wanted to develop LGBTQ middle grade curriculum — to which she immediately replied, “Why not my classes? We teach a social justice curriculum!” […]

June 10

Kids Need Books Everywhere by Jennifer LaGarde and Donalyn Miller

  Indisputably, children and adolescents benefit when they attend schools with degreed librarians and well-developed library collections (Scholastic, 2018). We also know that providing kids with reliable access to books is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to influence their achievement. (Allington, McGill-Franzen 2014). Unfortunately, too many young people live in “book deserts” without […]

June 09

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning… by Mark Overmeyer

My first year teaching, I was one of the lucky ones.   I had come out of a strong student teaching experience, and my new teacher colleagues provided a perfect balance of providing support and letting me try (and often fail) and try again.   And my class– I will never forget my incredible sixth […]

June 01

Digital Device + Free Texts = Reading All Summer Long by Tammy Mulligan and Clare Landrigan

When we read the Pew Research Center’s report about access to digital information, it confirmed the work we are doing with digital reading.  Although many students may not have easy access to actual books at home, based on these statistics, they probably have access to a digital device. Devices can give students more reading choices, […]

May 25

Read, Rise, Resist, Repeat by Kacy Smith

A few short months ago, my district was in the middle of a comprehensive ELA adoption, which had a focus of providing diverse and engaging classroom libraries. Expected growing pains had arrived and passed, replaced with increased reading volume, stamina, and enjoyment. That all changed after a parent filed a complaint to have Andrew Smith’s […]

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 […]