Rick Marcotte Central School’s (RMCS) new librarian, Colleen Springer, wants to help every student find a book they cannot wait to bury their nose in and read. Reading expands kids’ vocabulary, improves their writing skills, and stimulates their imagination and critical thinking, while helping kids explore new worlds and a variety of cultural and social situations. However, with all the competing demands on kids’ time, it can be a challenge to persuade kids to read, but it is a worthwhile effort, and help is available at school.
“When I was a kid, I liked non-traditional books,” Springer says. “I didn’t like the ones my teacher chose, and she didn’t let me pick my own.” As a librarian now, she says she keeps an open mind, adding, “I have a big heart for struggling and reluctant readers.”
One of the programs the RMCS librarian is promoting is the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Reading Challenge, where RMCS students select books from a kid-approved list of favorites. The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award, named after a Vermont author, is a statewide award given for new American children’s literature. Adult judges select the finalists and fourth through eighth graders from across Vermont select the winners. The full list of award-winning books is available on the RMCS library webpage.
Springer and her colleagues in the library will be rolling out a Family Read Aloud program this winter and are currently developing a five-year collection plan with a focus on updating non-fiction texts to support the National Science Standards. This builds on an extensive collection built by former RMCS librarian Kris Larson.
Last week, the school hosted Bruce Hale, author of Clark the Shark Afraid of the Dark, in conjunction with Barnes & Noble and sponsor Harper Collins.
As for the reading challenge, RMCS students who read five or more books from the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award list will be rewarded with an ice cream celebration and possibly a favorite new book.
SOURCE: Michelle Rosowsky, RMCS PTO