Volunteer discussion on Mon., June 3 at Haddington Free Library

This is a summary, with additional notes about favorite books included.  The long version is available as a PDF, here: 06032013 End of Year Wrap- discussion notes.

(Discussion Prompt) Please share your:

1.  Favorite books to read aloud:

  • Come on Rain, by Karen Hesse (1999)
  • Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra (2004)
  • The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn (2009)
  • Cat in the Hat & Dr. Seuss
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet, by Theo LeSieg (1965)
  • If I Built a Car, by Chris Van Dusen (2007) for K-2nd
  • Frog & Toad, by Arnold Lobel (1970’s) for 1st grade
  • Fly Guy, by Tedd Arnold (2006) for kids to read aloud
  • Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish (1963) for 2nd grade
  • The Missing Piece, by Shel Silverstein (1976)
  • The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School, by Judy Sierra (2006)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney (2011)
  • George’s Marvelous Medicine, by Roald Dahl (1981)
  • Health education handouts for 3rd-6th grade
  • Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (2010) for 6th grade
  • Maze Runner*, by James Dashner (2011) for 7th grade; *use a dictionary or app on cell phone
  • Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (2008) for 8th grade

2.  Favorite subjects for reading:

Sports; Dramatic weather; Bugs & animals; Gross subjects

Books with youth as characters

Manners (staff favorite)

3.  Most popular literacy activities
  • Let kids “author” a story
  • Read weekly poems (some schools)
  • Students reading aloud
  • Made a travel brochure
  • Making bookmarks
  • Spelling game

4.  Most creative library/ classroom display

  • Acting out characters in books
  • Drawing their favorite things; hang art in library; cave drawings
  • Murals- book & spring themes
  • Chinese exhibit
  • Children made terra cotta soldiers
  • Children’s Book Week poster
  • Child abuse poster
5.  Most practical advice for a new volunteer

  • Let volunteer observe; orient to library & bookshelves; ask what they are comfortable doing.
  • Establish a relationship with your teacher; personal email may get a better response
  • Get contact info from all team volunteers
  • Establish connection with students; take roll call

6.  One comment to the school principal

  • Appreciate support & cooperation from principal; we would like principal to introduce themselves
  • Communication is key; notify the WePAC teams regarding schedule changes
  • WePAC speaker at open house for Home & School; the importance of parent roles & volunteers

7.  Biggest hope for the students

  • Appreciate, use & enjoy libraries
  • Learn to love reading; exposed to many kinds of books
  • Ability to read on grade level; to improve their vocabulary
  • Show respect for each other

8.  Best strategy for encouraging everyone to return their library books

  • Making expectations clear that books are to be returned
  • Provide a list of overdue books to classroom teacher
  • Provide independent reading time in school
  • Fines, sometimes

9.  Most helpful training session WePAC could offer

  • Time management
  • WePAC demo of good practices
  • Idea exchange/ brainstorm **popular response
  • Pairing new/ old volunteers

10.  Top 3 supplies/ items that are helpful for volunteering

  • Book marks, pencil sharpener, erasers
  • Survey teachers on major themes they would like to include

11.  Favorite question a kid asked you

  • Do you have a book that is scary?  A mystery?  On robots? Bugs?  Princesses?  Video games?
  • Appearance questions, such as, Why does your hair look like that?
  • How old are you?  Are you a grandmother?

12.  Most memorable moment of the year

  • Negative- knockdown fight
  • Challenge of losing books
  • Positive- Former Drew student moved to McMichael School & blossomed
  • Aha! Moments, when kids “get it”
  • Authors that came to school for Library Week
  • Singing & sing-alongs, especially with picture book illustration
  • Taking my gifted art class to the student show at PAFA
  • Appreciation: receiving a card from students
  • Cataloging 10,000 books at the WePAC office over 3 months, 4 days per week!

13.  Biggest surprise

  • Poor teachers; teachers who have given up
  • Kids’ behavior- either better than expected or more out of control
  • Teachers with inadequate support; children with disabilities in non-disabled classes
  • Students who lack verbal skills
  • ELL (English Language Learner) children in classroom

14.  Hardest challenge of the school year

  • Maintaining children’s attention; older kids banging on windows & doors
  • Dealing with students of a bad teacher; teacher yelling during library
  • Need to re-orient children to library rules; keeping order
  • Collecting books from children who don’t return them
  • Maintaining teacher’s attention; teachers forgetting scheduled library times

15.  Most burning question you want answered before September

  • How many weeks are needed for the library update project at Heston School?
  • ANSWER:  We are beginning the process now, and continuing through mid-August.  Summer volunteering at Heston is flexible– we’d love your support!  Contact mica@wepac.org for more information!
  • Is a book drive needed to prepare for fall?
  • ANSWER:  Not currently, however, we have update book guidelines available for when we have space to begin receiving new book donations.
  • How do we handle no returns or late returns?  What are WePAC’s overdue & lost book policies?
  • Great question!  This varies from one school to another; however, we are interested in talking more about positive ways to support kids in returning their books and developing rewards and positive reinforcements!  (to be continued)