Everyone has a different way of approaching a new idea, project, or risk. When it comes to implementing a new project in the library, which is now my classroom, my approach mirrors the famous Nike campaign “Just Do It!”. There are usually at least ten reasons why not to do something, there’s always more research that could be done, more plans to be laid out, the timing could always improve, but here is my reasoning behind following the philosophy of a company who adopted the name of the Greek Goddess of Victory: I won’t necessarily have the kids I have today, a week from now. In planning amazing feats for the future, I cannot forget that there are children that need to be impacted today, for it might be the last chance I receive to make them discover the power of reading, the love for it, the spark that will set them on their path through literacy successfully.With that mission and the vision of the children I get to serve today, that might not be there tomorrow, this first year as a librarian I have (among other things):
- Celebrated Global Read Aloud Day 2015
- Students from Lubbock, TX discussed their favorite book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal with students from our School via Skype
- First grade postcard exchange with schools in various states and Canada
- Campaigned the Texas Bluebonnet Awards Vote “Read Five Then Decide” and had voting ID cards, voting booths, and electronic voting.
- Had fourth graders share a Google Hangout with author Kate Messner
- Had third graders Skype with author Jennifer Ward
- Offered afterschool MarkerSpace with Lego, Engineering and other challenges
- Coached two Battle of the Books teams
- Formed a Library Assistants Club
- Offered Toddler Storytime
- Planned two parent Literacy @ Home Nights where parents received practical activities and created manipulatives with my good friend and Early Childhood Specialist Esmeralda Ramirez
- As part of World Read Aloud Day students from Houston, TX read via Google Hangout “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt to all of our 2nd grade classes.
- Celebrated Read Across America FOR A WHOLE WEEK
- As part of Read Across America Celebrated DOCTOR SEUSS’S BIRTHDAY with over 15 guest readers from the community to read in our school to our classes
- Hosted a Pumpkin Book Character Contest
- Celebrated Children’s Book Week 2016 FOR THE WHOLE WEEK:
- Dressed up as a different character every day
- Students had a daily dress up activity to celebrate their favorite books and stories
- Milk and Cookies Family Reading Night with more than 12 stations to craft, have fun, and listen to stories
- Organized our First Book Swap- an opportunity to get rid of the stories you no longer read and find new ones at no cost
- Hosted a Pringles Book Character Contest
- Hosted a Grade Level Teacher Book Character Dress Up Contest
- Wrote and got funded a DonorsChoose.org grant.
- Received a Ford of North Texas and First Book Grant of 200 books for our library.
- Wrote an Innovation Grant (still waiting to hear from this one!)
- Celebrated Lunch Hero Day with letters, balloons, paper food with student messages, and posters.
Here is something I jumped into most recently as part of Children’s Book Week, and you know what, I was wearing my Nike sneakers!
BOOK CHARACTER PARADE!– Was I stressed? Holy cow, totally and absolutely! I invited parents to watch from the sidewalk and prayed that they would respect the boundaries I set for the safety of all our kids. Did I wonder if maybe myself and 12 more kids would be the only ones dressed up and parading? I truly did. But you know what? IT WAS AWESOME! Many of our teachers participated, some had their classes dress up as a book for example: Pete the Cat’s Groovy Buttons: the teacher was Pete and each child was a button! We paraded once around the school, many parents came, the students who didn’t parade had fun watching, the kids that did parade, were waving as if they were being pranced around on a float, and boy did we have fun and showed that our love of good books, good stories and cool characters is cause for celebration!
The goddess Nike has had my back this year, it’s been amazing to create so many opportunities for my students to see the library as the hive for many of their interests and as a place where reading is for everyone and having fun is pretty much a given. Just “doing it” also provides a wealth of information for future, improved events while allowing me to care for the children I am responsible for impacting NOW and in the FUTURE!
Photo taken from: http://sneakerhistory.com/nike/nike-just-do-it/