In my new role, I am helping teachers at the middle school (grades 7 & 8) in West Haven, Connecticut, develop an independent reading program for their extended English/Language Arts period. To make the reading program a success, the teachers plan to offer student choice in reading and that means the classroom libraries need to be expanded.
Building or expanding a classroom library can be expensive, but by seeking out gently used books, the expense can be minimized to as little as $.50/book. One simply needs to know where to look….and the best place to look for gently used quality books for any age is at the Grandmother of all Connecticut Book Sales, the Labor Day Book Sale that benefits the Mark Twain Public Library in Redding, Connecticut.
I spent two hours at the sale combing through the tables and filled six bags of quality paperbacks that are popular with middle school readers.
I plan deliver this first load of books to the teachers, creating the “book flood” in their classrooms. As for the Mark Twain Library Book volunteers who so capably load the tables, organize the donations, and make the whole experience a “destination” for readers of all ages, they must be credited with helping more than their own library. Their hard work has made an expansion of classroom libraries possible.
A wonderful effort from a library named for the American writer who once said that, “out of the public school grows the greatness of a nation.”
Now, let us see how these expanded classroom libraries help grow the students of West Haven!