Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: Character Quest: Book Club for Struggling and Reluctant Readers

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Hope Decker, Director, Cohocton Public Library (NY)
Partnering with the local elementary school, the Cohocton Public Library created a dynamic, fun, hands-on program for struggling and reluctant readers ages 6 to 10 years old. Readers were engaged and enthusiastic. Character Quest was based on graphic novels that a variety of ages and reading abilities would enjoy. The cornerstone was the hands-on activities that the Library developed to accompany the books. The goal was to have positive reading experiences and to get struggling readers hooked on a book series. An overview of the program, suggestions on community partnerships, and the 4 week plan will be given.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fLbHr2roCss
http://nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/bigtalk/

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Big Talk From Small Libraries 2014: Character Quest: Book Club for Struggling and Reluctant Readers

  1. 1. Character Quest Book Club for Struggling and Reluctant Readers
  2. 2. Overview Character Quest is a book club developed to engage struggling and reluctant readers in high interest books with relatable characters. Readers will associate positive, fun experiences with books, so they will continue to read on their own. •Background of our town, library and the program •Character Quest Program •Pitfalls/Benefits •deckerh@stls.org
  3. 3. Cohocton Stats •Rural area in western NY state, 60 miles south of Rochester •Village of 800 people surrounded by farmland •Very few businesses (gas station, small grocery store, elementary school, wind farms)
  4. 4. Cohocton Public Library Background • Founded in 1977 after the bookmobile crashed • Chartered to serve 1400 • Annual budget of $65,000 for everything! • 2011 moved from 800 sq ft carriage house to a 6000 sq ft store front
  5. 5. Old Building
  6. 6. New Building
  7. 7. Summer Program 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2013 Character Quest 2012 Expected Increase 2011 New Building Closed 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 •Morning and evening programs •Outside in the pavilion •Kids catch the bus after the program
  8. 8. Met with principal •Very supportive partner! •Talked about ways we could work together •Came up with a plan together to have the Summer Reading Camp kids come up to the Library every day
  9. 9. Challenges • • • • Different abilities Different interests Wide range of ages Getting kids here (walking in heat)
  10. 10. Benefits • New library audience • No advertising/promotion necessary • Helpers • Supplies paid for • Actual data from school
  11. 11. Primary Program Goals • Library’s goal: The children have positive (fun) experiences with a book so they will want to read more (in a series so they can find others like it) • School’s goal: help children who are in danger of loosing reading skills over the summer, retain or gain skills
  12. 12. Library’s Secondary Goals • Partner with school • Increase our summer reading program numbers • Get new families to come to the library
  13. 13. Partner: Lion’s Club • Literacy is one of their missions • Love to help locally, and new projects interest them • Always looking for guest speakers
  14. 14. Participants • Grades 1 to 5 • Children who have been identified by the school as having a significant risk of loosing reading skills over the summer
  15. 15. Program Structure • 10 to 15 Children walked up to library with adult teacher and 2-3 teen helpers (about 25 minutes at the library) • Each group met 4 days a week for 2 weeks • Those who finish the books on their own and bring the form back to the Library could claim a prize pack at the end of the program
  16. 16. Program • Choose high interest, easy to read, and humorous graphic novels in a series with relatable characters • Babymouse (week 1) and Squish (week 2) by Jennifer and Matthew Holm • I would read the book aloud, while they followed along for 5-7 minutes, then the kids went to “stations” and did activities and crafts
  17. 17. Station: Craft/Activity • 2 new crafts or activities a day
  18. 18. Station: Activity Sheets
  19. 19. Activity Pages • Book based activity sheets (Mazes, coloring sheets) from author’s web page www.babymouse.com or http://www.randomhousekids.com/brand/babymouse-squish/activities
  20. 20. Other Online Resources from Publisher •Teacher Guides http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/teachers_guides/ 9780375832307.pdf •Computer Games http://www.randomhousekids.com/games/babymousemunch-mouse
  21. 21. Station: Books • Rest of the books in series to quietly read/look through/review
  22. 22. Station: More Crafts • Other unrelated crafts in case they run out of things to do https://www.guildcraftinc.com/READ-Cards.aspx
  23. 23. Babymouse: Mad Scientist
  24. 24. Facts about Babymouse • She loves cupcakes • She is messy and forgetful • Has a hard time keeping her whiskers straight http://www.randomhousekids.com/videos/lpwcnsuyf om-babymouse-book-trailer#.Uw9v9uNdVvA
  25. 25. Babymouse really LOVES cupcakes and is very messy
  26. 26. iPad App
  27. 27. New Babymouse App!
  28. 28. Pipecleaner Babymouse http://www.funfamilytips.com/?p=316
  29. 29. Hershey Kiss Babymouse
  30. 30. Play with Slime
  31. 31. Examine Slime Mold Give the Dog Vomit Slime Mold a Squirt of Water
  32. 32. Cupcake Bookmark
  33. 33. Moldy Cupcake
  34. 34. Decorate a Cupcake
  35. 35. Foamie Babymouse
  36. 36. Model Magic Clay: Your Favorite Treat
  37. 37. Squish was the natural choice for the next book
  38. 38. Squish: Game On
  39. 39. Facts about Squish • Daydreams a lot (and is very imaginative) • Loves comic books • Loves Twinkies http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/babymouse/squish/
  40. 40. Amoeba Inspiration
  41. 41. iPad App
  42. 42. iPad Apps
  43. 43. Microscopic Pond Life
  44. 44. Microscopic Pond Life
  45. 45. Amoeba Visor
  46. 46. Amoeba Visor
  47. 47. Amoeba Box
  48. 48. Amoeba Box
  49. 49. Watercolor Amoeba
  50. 50. Watercolor Amoeba
  51. 51. Amoeba Twinkie
  52. 52. Amoeba Twinkie
  53. 53. Bleach City
  54. 54. Bleach City
  55. 55. Squish Photo Frame
  56. 56. Squish Photo Frame
  57. 57. Prize: Read book and Return this form
  58. 58. Conclusion • Pitfalls No one came into the library to claim their prize pack (nevertheless did have a few new families come to the Library) • Benefits to the Library • Benefits to the School • Benefits to the Kids Email me at deckerh@stls.org to get the list of activities and copies of the instructions

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