Last school year, I began this program with a dream that all students would have access to reading material during the summer. Not just access to reading material, but OWN reading material. Many of our students do not own books. I began by using Scholastic Dollars earned through our book fairs to purchase "bruised books". By the end of the school year, I had collected enough books so that each student was able to choose a book to keep for their very own.
This year, I wanted to go bigger. We've all heard the statistics stating that reading just four books on grade level can help prevent the "summer slide". Again, using Scholastic Dollars, I purchased even more bruised books. I had also weeded the nonfiction collection throughout the school year. This provided all of our students three books that now belong to them (two brand-new books and one discarded library book).
I was brought to tears several times throughout the day. Kindergartners asking "this is mine....forever?", fourth graders cheering and clapping loudly in the hallways as they waited for their turn, teachers asking if they too could pick out some new books for their library. Luckily, we had plenty and some teachers took several books back to their classroom to share!
I love this program and can't wait to see it grow even bigger next year. The local newspaper, the Batesville Guard, came out to take some pictures and talk to our students as they shopped. It was a great day. One of my favorite days throughout the year.