This year, as part of our Library and Media Centre program, we’re personalizing reading.
Our goal is to engage our students, boys in particular, in enjoying reading.
What have we done? We’ve taken a survey of all of our students in grades 7 through 9 to find out:
- the extent to which they enjoy reading (or not)
- the genre which they prefer, and any authors/titles they’ve liked
- the last good book they’ve read
- formats they prefer (print, audio, graphic novel, etc.)
I shared the results with our Library Assistant, and she immediately put together a reading list tailored to student interests. She even went so far as to contact a book company to see if they had a specific lexile and thematic level for one student who struggled with reading. I am so proud to have her as part of our team!
The result to date after one month: we have engaged 15% of our junior boys in enjoying reading more. How do we know? We’ve connected with our reluctant readers, and have made personal connections to their reading interests, recommending novels through visits in class and through the Library-direct connections.
Wow! We even got a reader who hated reading to “I LOVE reading!” Now he’s determined to read all of the books in a particular series. This student has now moved on to full-text reading series at an increasingly challenging lexile level. We love it when that happens!
It just goes to show that literacy matters and that we can make a difference if we target our Library programs to our students’ interests, and include all Library staff in a team approach in developing (and modelling!) a lifelong love of reading.
Next steps? Inviting students to participate in a Library Leadership Group, an occasional group of diverse students who will help make recommendations on reading selections, digital, print, and audio, as well as developing our Learning Commons into an engaging personal and virtual space!