Corinna School, a decile 1 school, ran a summer reading initiative led by the principal and used evidence to target students who would benefit most.
Introducing Corinna School
Corinna School is a full primary school in Porirua East near Wellington City. Pasifika students comprise about 75% of the roll. The school has a full-time teacher based in the library and a full-time library assistant. The library is highly valued and plays an important role in the life of the school.
Porirua City has a vibrant central public library and several branch libraries, but Corinna School is not well-sited for easy access to local public libraries, especially for those families who do not have a car.
Summer reading 2010–2011
In November 2010, the Teacher Librarian (TL) at Corinna School attended the Summer Reading workshop run by National Library.
The TL and principal invited students and their families to come along to school on the first Saturday morning of the summer school holidays to borrow books for the holidays. About 12 families took up the offer and were able to borrow up to 20 books issued to a family borrower ID, which the library assistant created on Accessit. The children and their families enjoyed reading the books over the summer and returned them at the beginning of the new school year.
Sharing the story
In November 2011, Michele Whiting, the Principal of Corinna School, was invited to talk about Corinna’s summer reading experience at the 2011 National Library Summer Reading workshop. Trish, the recently appointed TLR/literacy leader also attended this workshop.
Corinna School admitted before the workshop that, after a very busy year, they weren’t sure if they’d have the energy to run a summer reading initiative in 2011. However, during the workshop, listening to others, and receiving a positive response to their own story, they decided to make the library available for another family borrowing morning.
A targeted approach
This time, the TLR decided to identify students who she thought would particularly benefit from taking part in a summer reading programme. Trish used end-of-year reading data and her own knowledge of students to identify students who were achieving below their potential in reading. She then extended a special invitation to those students and their families to attend the summer reading morning.
Summer reading 2011–2012
Approximately 15 students and their families were invited to a Saturday morning book sharing and family borrowing at the Corinna School library. The importance of children being read to and being able to read over the holidays was also explained to the families.
Student reading data term 1 2012
Trish noted that all students who had taken part in the summer reading initiative had retained or made gains in their reading achievement over the summer holidays. She decided that this group of students would become her target group for 2012. The aim would be to build positive attitudes to reading, to provide books and other reading formats that appealed to the students, to increase ‘reading mileage’ and to continue to build the students’ enjoyment, confidence and reading achievement.