Motivating Students to Read

There are a number of ways Media Specialists can create a "climate of reading" in their schools. Any reading promotion or program should coordinate with and complement the reading curriculum in place in the school. The following article has a number of research-based ideas for integrating the library media program into a successful comprehensive reading program.

Each school will have its own approach to reading instruction. Some of the recent "hot topics" such as leveled readers, literature circles and differentiated instruction are explored in the following article, with corresponding resources and ideas for extending each program into the media center.

Reading Promotion Programs

Reading promotion programs are one of the most visible and positive ways a media program can reflect and extend reading instruction. These can vary widely in nature and in scope, from involvement in national initiatives and programs to building-level themed approaches. The following is a list of resources for programs of all shapes and sizes.

-The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book cataloged these Reading Promotion projects. The list is from 2000, but most are still applicable or adaptable.

-The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book also sponsors a national yearly contest promoting reading and writing called Letters About Literature. (Some students will be motivated by the cash prize!!!)

-The NEA’s Read Across America Day is a huge yearly celebration that takes place each year on or about Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2. Lots of resources here.

-Barnett Shoals Elementary Wins 2005 Giant Step Award for School Libraries – a variety of reading incentive programs are featured, which greatly increased overall circulation.

-A HUGE list of ideas and resources are at this Indiana University - Perdue site to get started with national programs. There are also lots of tips about advocacy and promoting your programs on this website.

-On a local level, versions of the Community of Readers program has been used in some schools (often as an alternative to AR) (Middle School) (Elementary School)

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