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Book Shopping 2020 Style

Getting books into kids’ hands is very important. Getting them books that they CAN read and WANT to read is even more important.

One of the greatest challenges we face daily in this remote learning world is that kids just don’t have enough books or the right books to read at home. Digital books are a gift but there is nothing like an actual paperback in your hands. While we can’t change the remote learning just yet, we decided we needed to do something about getting the right books into kids’ hands.

First: We gathered thousands of books, sorted them by interest and/or reading level, and labeled each one of them in the hopes that they would be returned to be borrowed again.

Second: We invited families to school from 2:00-6:00 to allow working families the opportunity to come after work and also decrease the number of people in the building at any one time.

Third: We hosted our first school-wide book shopping event!

Students were greeted at a check-in station which included hand sanitizer and a Covid-19 check-list. They were also given color coded tickets (AKA cut up pieces of construction paper) to help guide them once in the gym.

Once the students arrived in the gym they book shopped at the table matching their colored tickets. While the books are generally sorted by levels emphasis is always on student choice.

Gymnasium set up for book shopping.

After filling their bags, students left out a side door so as to avoid passing others in the hallway.

This was a great SUCCESS! Kids and parents were so excited to come to school, even if only for a few minutes. Kids happily selected books and moms and dads were so appreciative. Best of all were the smiles on every face. This brief time interacting mask to mask is so much better than screen to screen.

A couple of days later I received this thank you note written and then recorded in Seesaw for me. It’s why I do what I do!

We have scheduled these book shopping events for every other week until we return to school. This way, books returned can be quarantined for a week and then resorted for the next book shopping event

I don’t think I’m alone when I say: I can’t wait for our next book shopping event!

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