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November 14, 2011 / Christian M.

I Survived My First “Girls Read!” Program

My branch offers a Girls Read! and Boys Read! program to help improve reading skills and promote the fun of reading. We started the Boys Read! first, back in the spring of this year, but then the girls wanted to participate so we started a separate program for them a few weeks later.  The librarian who initially led Girls Read! was no longer available once school ended, so the program has been defunct for several months.

I decided to revive it this month because Boys Read! has continued and the girls kept asking when we would offer their program again. I had to change the day of the week it was offered though, due to my work schedule.

I was a little nervous (as I always am when starting something new). First, I was concerned no one would show up. Second, I was nervous that I might be too boring. However, I had nothing to worry about. I had eight girls show up, ranging from first through fifth grade. They all seemed excited and interested in being there.

 

Here is my program outline:

Icebreaker: I Like To….

Discussion: Each girl talks about the last book she read.

Booktalks: I creatively present the plot of several titles without giving away the ending. In my training I was taught to read a book before I booktalk it. However, I didn’t have time and simply skimmed through the ones I was unfamiliar with. Then I wrote a brief “script”.  However, there are many online resources that provide booktalks as well (such as this or this). At the end of the program, the girls were literally grabbing the books out of my hand: “I want the stinky socks mystery!” “I want the mermaid story!”

Activity: A Minute of Words (I was surprised at how excited they were about this one.)

Snacks: This time I just gave out CapriSun juice boxes. (I do check with all parents beforehand to find out if there are any allergies).

This program lasted maybe 35-40 minutes. I received several exclamations of “it’s over already?” I will most likely have the actual program last no longer than 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for snacks at the end. I would rather leave them wanting more, than go on too long and have them asking when they can leave.
Next time, I plan to incorporate poetry as well. I will probably present some books of poetry and have them each pick one to read aloud to the group. I’m still figuring out exactly what I want this program to accomplish (now that it’s my responsibility). Of course, it is first and foremost about reading, and improving reading skills. But I would also like to include some basic creative writing exercises, along with fun games and activities….and of course more snacks (“All we have is juice??” Ok, I get the hint).

Oh, and I also have to remember to remind the girls to take their bathroom break BEFORE our program starts. When one person has to go to the bathroom, then three more people realize they need to go to the bathroom too (well at least for the first- and second-graders).

This is going to be an interesting experience. It requires more planning than the storytimes. However, it will help me become more knowledgeable of literature for older elementary children.

Has anyone planned a program like this, or have any additional resources to suggest?

 

Image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Evelyn N. Alfred / Nov 14 2011 10:33 pm

    That bathroom thing happens even with eight graders. I can’t figure it out, but it cracks me up on the inside.

    I’m glad the program went well.

  2. LibGirl09 / Nov 15 2011 11:46 am

    Well then I guess I need to lower my expectations on bladder control. lol

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