Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Summer Reading Kick-Off Event May 4, 2009

I admit it. I am obsessed with getting kids to read, and not just read, but I want them hooked on reading like a junkie in an alley.  One of my school friends described me as a Book Geisha, but assured me that she meant that as a compliment.  Since it did make me laugh, I guess I’ll take it. 

Last year I became intrigued with the idea of planning for summer reading after reading an article by Franki Sibberson at Choice Literacy with my fourth graders. I have followed similar lines of thinking when it comes to planning for reading over the year or setting a reading goal for yourself at New Year’s. In many ways, a Book Challenge, is like a plan.

Since I don’t have a classroom this year, but I am still peddling books, I’ve decided on a Summer Reading Kick-Off Event for elementary and intermediate families (kindergarten through sixth grade), as well as inviting local preschool families.  

Here’s how I tried to recruit one friend to help with the event…

Hi R,

Thanks for the fast response. I think I’m looking for someone to bounce ideas off of/partner in crime (without the responsibility of planning the crime). I do have quite a few resources including book lists, tips, etc. but I almost have too much. I need to condense it to parent-friendly usable materials. The last week of May I am a Summer Reading Kick-Off here at GIS with an emphasis on planning for summer reading. I can’t have one at both schools because there isn’t enough of me to go around, but I want to the Family Reading Night/Summer Reading Kick-Off to be of interest to families from both schools. J. Patrick Lewis and Tim Bowers will do a brief intro of their new book First Dog and it will be for sale for autographing, along with an array of books that might make good “summer reading”. I’m even kicking around having choices of “sessions” (15-20 minutes) that are age-appropriate. I want to have book lists, but if 4 or 5 books are highlighted for each age group, I know kids are much more likely to read them versus selecting them off a list.  I’m not out to sell books to everyone, but want to provide a service.

I know how many parents really struggle to get their kids to read over the summer and isn’t not unusual at their age to be willing to try or do something because the “teacher said” versus giving mom or dad a hard time about the exact same thing. I want to give the parents the “teacher said” clout to help them keep their kids reading over the summer.  

I’m also kicking around having an event in August for those who participated in Summer Reading.

What do you think? Thanks for offering to help!

I’ve gone on to try to recruit: the elementary reading specialists to work on something for parents of pre-schoolers and incoming kindergartens; intermediate teachers to host parent-child book clubs; local librarians and I’m not done yet. 


Stay tuned as I firm up the details in the next week. It’s not too late to plan one for your school!



5 Responses to “Summer Reading Kick-Off Event”

  1. Ms. Yingling Says:

    May I use your line? “I want them hooked on reading like a junkie in an alley.” I don’t think our DARE officer will appreciate it, but I love it. Good luck with your summer reading. I’ve never tried anything in my school because the public library has a great program, so you are going above and beyond. Soon all of your students will be hooked!

    • bestbookihavenotread Says:

      Sure! I’m sure ours wouldn’t approve either-I won’t use it with students.

  2. For kids who don’t like having a reading list of specific titles, you could try a scavenger hunt style check list. For example:

    Read one book you’ve wanted to read for a long time.
    Read one book by an author whose name has a Z somewhere in it.
    Read one book recommended to you by a librarian.
    Read one book you think you won’t like.
    Read one book by someone who shares your first name.
    Read one book you’ve read before.
    Read one book that one of your parents read as a child.

    Parents could use the checklist, too, for their own summer reading. Doing the same challenge alongside their kids is not only good modeling of reading behavior, it’s fun, too!

  3. […] you, but those are Kristine’s words (Best Book I Have Not Read). Last week she announced her Summer Reading Kick-off event (inspired by Franki Sibberson at Choice Literacy). She’s recruiting elementary reading […]

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