Read Across Lawrence for Kids 2013 Recap Part 1
1 Book + 1 Public Library + 50 Classrooms = 4270 Kids Sharing One Story
Whew! The storm has come and gone. The month of September has ended, which means I just finished wrapping up another Read Across Lawrence for Kids program! Most youth services librarians rejoice when September arrives as it is the end of the Summer Reading Program chaos, but for Lawrence Public Library the fun has only just begun… Read Across Lawrence for Kids is a youth literacy event in which the entire community of young readers reads the same book at the same time and also comes together to participate in activities themed around the book throughout the month. This year’s featured title was Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm. You can read about the preparations and start of this year’s program HERE.
Due to another energetic collaboration between the Lawrence schools and the Lawrence Public Library (LPL) for RAL Kids, I’m pleased to report RAL Kids almost doubled it’s participation this year with a total of 4,276 (last year’s participation was just under 2,500). Along with the LPL’s independent readers and event participation, local schools were actively incorporating Turtle in Paradise into their curricula, reading it aloud in class, and/or hosting reading groups.
How did that work?
The Friends of the Library donated funds specifically for this program, from which I purchased a boat load of books at a discounted rate. In May, I reached out to the elementary school and middle school librarians in our district (we have quite a few!) and they were responsible for getting any teachers on board who were interested in teaching the book in their classrooms. In early August, those books were distributed before school started along with information about the library’s RAL Kids events and a RAL Kids Parent and Educator Resource Guide, which also included a book list of books from The Great Depression time period for ages 8-13 (available for checkout through LPL). When school started, the school librarians and teachers started reading Turtle in Paradise right away with their classes. I sent out weekly emails about the RAL Kids events going on that week, as well as additional resources including this awesome Turtle in Paradise Read-Alikes Chart my co-work Molly made.
Since there were a total of 11 RAL Kids programs throughout the month, I thought I would break this recap up into two parts recapping the festivities though Storify posts. Here’s what went on the first couple weeks: