Last week, the 6th grade Reading teachers brought back their classes to the GS LRC. The students brought along their borrower's card. This library visit was part of their orientation session. It was an opportune time to practice learned information literacy skills and, to simply enjoy reading. A few borrowed books already upon receipt of their borrower's card last week. However, most of them would not even bother using their borrower's card until the school year ends. I do not have the exact numbers, but most of my grade 6 students stopped borrowing at 4th grade. A good 20% may be avid readers, thus the frequent trips to the library.
I could not pin point reasons why they cease borrowing from the library. Neither do I like to think that reading is confined in the library alone. Reading takes place everyday where ever we are. We read signs, billboards, price tags, cheat codes in magazines, menus, receipts, email and the Internet. But for children to read a book, literature, fiction and non-fiction that are specially selected and acquired based on their developmental and curricular needs is a MUST. Just like the rules and guidelines that schools impose on children to instill self discipline, reading should also be deliberate.
However, encouraging them to read and giving them an opportunity to do so must be one that is positive and relaxing. No pressure to complete a book report afterwards. No grades to think of when a child finished reading a book. Just let them read. And give them time to enjoy it.
That's what we did last week. I let them READ. With the new Reading and Language Arts schedule in our school I hope that through our teacher - librarian collaboration activities, we'll get kids reading again.
Now, the books and other materials we offer is another story! Till next post.