From a Battle of the Books to new reading carpets, the library at Bernice Vossbeck Elementary continues to excite students throughout the school.
This spring, librarian Jennifer Frombly instituted a head-to-head Battle of the Books competition. By reading the same book to every class, kindergarten through fifth grade, every two weeks the entire schools vote with marbles or on the smartboard to see which book comes out as the winner.
“The challenge was finding books that fit everyone,” Frombly says. “I thought the older kids might scoff at reading ‘little kid’ picture books, but they are very engaged and some of their take-aways are a little deeper.”
Frombly chose books that fit with the school’s Character Strong curriculum, choosing books that show courage, respect, perseverance, gratitude, honesty, kindness, empathy and responsibility in action.
So far, the rule of recency is leading the day, with the book read closest to voting time proving to be the winner in each of the initial contests.
Due to space constraints in the filled-to-the-brim-with-books library, tables and chairs aren’t a luxury every student has enjoyed within the library. The youngest of students at the school have had to sit on the floor when visiting the library for times of reading. Following a successful read-a-thon that raised money for the school, the library was able to add thick reading carpets, each square about 12-inches by 12-inches, making “spacing simple and flexible” and coupling with the chairs for a new mixture of seating opportunities.
Frombly says that even with the chairs available, she’s been surprised to see how many of the older students enjoy taking a break from chairs and choose the new carpets.