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Earlier this year one of the 2nd grade teachers let me know that she was
having problems getting one of her boys to read -- he just hated reading.
She talked with his mother and the two of them decided to try different
strategies to change his mind.

The teacher found that the boy loved sports so she talked with me about
helping him to select sports books that might be of interest to him.  Even
though she required the students to check out at least one AR book a week,
she said that if this boy found books he liked to read that were not AR, not
to worry about it because she was more interested in getting him to read
than to worry about a test.  I helped him pick out some easy biographies and
nonfiction books on sports.

This student is now in the library almost every day to check out books.  He
not only reads sports books, but has branched out into other areas including
mysteries, fantasy, and other areas of fiction and is reading above grade
level.  Fortunately the teacher is one who really feels that students need
to come to the library as needed instead of just during a weekly period.
Yesterday I went to her room to return a public library book that was mixed
in with books from our library and ten students came back with me to
exchange books, including this one.

We need more teachers like this one who puts the needs of students and their
love for reading above just reading a book to take a test.  The reading
levels of all of her students have gone up dramatically.  One student was
reading at 0.5 at the beginning of this year and will more than likely start
third grade reading on third grade level.

If only school administrators could see the need for students coming to the
library as needed instead of a fixed (teacher break) schedule.

Madeline L. Buchanan
Library Media Specialist
W. J. Christian School (K-8)
Birmingham, AL
Voice: (205) 231-5277 or 838-7666
Fax: (205) 231-5279

"The imagination should be allowed a certain
amount of time to browse around."
--Thomas Merton

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