Friday, June 1, 2012

Spring Cleaning for Our School Library

This was originally posted on the Chicago Moms

We’re lucky that the girls receive magazine subscriptions every year as gifts. We also pick up chapter books at our library’s “friends” bookstore throughout the year. From time to time we receive an package of books from Kids Can Press with a note asking for a review. You know what this means by the end of the school year? We’re overflowing with old magazines and well-read books.

Last weekend we went through the girls’ reading materials. We created two stacks — save and donate. We decided to donate books to the girls’ classroom library and share some with a cousin in downstate Illinois. When their cousin is done with the books, we asked her to donate them to her school.

Going through all the books and magazines was like a trip through their second grade school year. They touched each book and discussed the best place for it. Sometimes their logic surprised me. Animal Masquerade, a charming book about animals going to a party, was deemed as a school book. I thought it was too young for their class, but they reminded me that some kids in their class don’t speak English well so it would be a good book to help them learn to read and speak English at a second grade level. Other books like Pirate Girl’s Treasure and Dear Flyary also went to school for the same reason. The Cricket, ASK and Highlights magazines all went to school, along with some of the chapter books we bought at the library book sale.

Daisy’s Perfect Word went down to their cousin. Even though Daisy has dark hair, they thought Daisy reminded them of their blond-haired cousin. We sent their cousin about half of the chapter book collection. She reads the same series and was excited to have some books of her own to read at home. We discussed sending some magazines, but weren’t sure the magazines would survive the trip with the books. It seemed safer to carry the magazines to school.No matter what children’s reading materials you have at home, consider donating them to your local school library. At some schools, like our cousin’s rural school, there is simply no money for additional classroom reading materials. Even at our well-funded school, the teacher was grateful for the reading materials, especially the magazines. By the end of the year classroom libraries can be a bit worn from use. New materials give the kids something interesting to read for this year and beyond.

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