As I walked into the classroom, the Principal whispered in my ear, “You’d think we were giving away candy in this room, but no, it's books. It’s fantastic!” That is the level of excitement I heard outside of this third-grade classroom as the Scholastic Book Box arrived earlier this month.
As a parent, it’s a dream come true to think a child could be as excited or even more excited about receiving a book than candy. From what I’ve seen during my visits to our Book Trust schools, its true! I would love for everyone to be able to experience the pure joy that is the Book Trust Experience when a classroom of boys and girls celebrate the arrival of books that they have chosen and that they will get to keep forever.
The chatter in the classroom is fascinating. As I sit quietly and listen, I hear students talking about which books they picked with their friend and why. Maya tells her friend Jessica why she loves reading joke books and Jessica shares her love of animals. I overhear another discussion taking place about ‘Who Would Win? The Hyena or the Honeybadger,’ and Briana and Jared begin to talk through their hypotheses. One little boy, Henri, tells me how he has read all of the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ books and he shares how his favorite place to read is on his bed at home.
When students select their books and when they arrive each month, our students have genuine and authentic conversations about reading. They connect over their shared interests and they learn more about their friends through what books they have chosen and why. Although we know how Book Trust inspires kids’ passion for reading, the wonderful added benefit is the social connection and peer conversation that is sparked through Book Trust’s Program. Our students are discovering their own interests, and they are building relationships and developing their social skills through their books.
This positive energy and enthusiasm creates a contagious excitement about books and learning that one can feel throughout the school. As this excitement builds, teachers and educators keep moving the bar higher with creative additions – dressing up as Batman to deliver the books or designing a “Yellow Book Road” leading to Emerald City. This positive momentum is reinforced and naturally builds a culture of literacy within each classroom, throughout the school, and the community.
When I meet our Book Trust students, I am convinced our future is bright.
Thank you for investing today for the success of our tomorrow. Candy or no candy, books are sweet!