Category Archives: Pay It Forward

July 27

Graphic Novel Geeks Only: Create Your Own After-School Club by Sarah FitzHenry and Megan Grant

If you’re a reading teacher, librarian, or parent, then you probably already know: graphic novels are all the rage. They’re fun to read, they’re deep and evocative, and they engage all kinds of readers at first glance. If you’re not convinced yet that graphic novels are real and worthwhile texts to bring into your classroom, […]

July 20

You Get a Book and You Get a Book and You Get a Book! by Liz Garden

There is a small part of me that always wanted to be Oprah or Ellen.  It’s not because these ladies are so famous that we only need to use their first names to identify them.  And it’s not because they probably don’t have to worry about choosing which bills to pay each month and which […]

June 24

20,000 Pennies: How a Book Club Transformed our School Community by Sarah FitzHenry

I stood in the middle of the room and listened to the sound of more than 20,000 pennies clinking and jingling around me. To my left, a fourth grade student helped her first grade buddy to count the nickels held in her sweaty palm (they had to start over after losing count at 12). To […]

June 22

Claire’s Day: Celebrating Young Readers by Julie K. Rubini

“Thank you for all you do,” the father said, with tears in his eyes. “You don’t understand what this award means to my daughter. She’s had it on her calendar for a month, crossing off the days counting down to Claire’s Day.” Nearly nineteen years ago, my ten-year-old daughter, Claire, gave me “just one more […]

June 15

Dog Man to The Rescue: How Book Access Saved My Third Grade Student by Renee Bowman

Teachers, you already know the student I am about to describe. The one who arrives halfway through the year from out of state, with a mother unsure of which grade her son was in just last week. The 9 year-old who carries a chip on his shoulder as if he were 29. The third grader […]

June 10

Why the School Nurse’s Office Should Have a Well-Stocked Library by Melissa McDonald and Melanie Roy

Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele wrote “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Being a school nurse teacher I deeply believe in this quote. My mother instilled in me a deep love of reading. Growing up I witnessed her donate countless books to projects and children in need. When I […]

June 01

When a List Is More Than Just a List by Kirsten LeClerc

A few years ago I wrote a Nerdy Book Club post that was widely shared and (mostly) well received. It was titled “Windows, Mirrors, and Portals to Magic”. I made a mistake in that piece, though. I neglected to cite Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, the scholar who came up with the concept of windows, mirrors, […]

May 17

Turning Readers into Writers by Carrie Rodusky

I stumbled upon this rock while walking my dog through the woods. It is about to be a creative writing prompt for my upper elementary students. Who knows where it will go.     As an ELA teacher I have to find a way to include reading, grammar, language, and writing in a 60 minute […]

May 10

Book Dating by Kyla McDonald

As a parent, teacher or librarian, you might never have thought to encourage your tweens or teens to start dating, especially speed dating. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok for your kids to date early, as long as they are dating books! Unlike dating people, book dating is free from rejection, completely safe […]

May 02

We Are in Charge of Reading Celebrations by Tammy Mulligan

“Tell me about the books in your book bag.” I ask a third grader during a recent conference.   She reached into her book bag, pulled out a book and declared, “This is my dessert book.  I read it just-for-fun.”   “What does it mean to read “just-for-fun?”   “Well, it’s fun because I don’t […]