Reading promotion displays around the school
Displays in foyers, corridors, principal’s office and in the grounds around the school are a useful way to promote a school-wide reading culture.
School entrance foyer
In your school entrance foyer you could have:
- signs on display about reading – maybe a slogan such as Kids who read succeed, or XYZ School children are readers or quotes about reading
- notices of reading events – challenges or incentives in-school, visiting authors, book awards
- photos of children reading, staff reading, other reading role models
- the principal's recommended 'book of the week'"
- promotion of the public library.
School corridors and noticeboards
In your school corridors and noticeboards you could display:
- signs pointing to the library, footprints heading in that direction – how many steps to the library?
- notices with the library opening hours and students on duty in the library
- the library quiz of the week – come to the library to find the answers and enter a competition
- student work about books – art, writing inspired by books, reviews
- information about new books coming to the library, and events coming up
- quotes about reading, favourite opening lines of books, favourite characters.
The principal's office
The principal can support a school-wide reading culture by:
- having signs in or around their office to show anyone visiting that the principal thinks reading is important, for example, quotes, favourite children's books, student work about reading, books for parents about helping children be readers
- reading during school-wide Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) that includes the students and all school staff reading.
Outside in the school grounds
Walking outside a school with a reading culture you might see:
- Signs pointing to the library, footprints heading in that direction – how many steps to the library?
- A poetry walk around the school.
Reading promotion in staffrooms and classrooms
Staffrooms and classrooms are great places to promote a school-wide reading culture.
Schools with strong reading cultures usually have staff who love reading and talking about books so you might see:
- professional reading about children's books
- information from the library, and promotion, about new, interesting, particular resources
- notices promoting professional development for staff on childrens' and young adult (YA) literature
- noticeboards with information about events, must-reads, awards, recommended read-alouds.
What teachers can do in their classrooms
In classrooms, you can set an example, of being a reader, to students by:
- reading aloud every day
- making time for your students to read
- having plenty of great books on display
- sharing your own reading, and reading in front of students.
School staff as readers
What students need in their classrooms
In classes students need to be able to:
- hear stories, share recommendations, discuss books, use the library as a class and independently
- talk about what they have read last, what they are reading now, what they are going to read next
- have buddy readers, some will be reading mentors or reading champions in the school
- have books with them during 'waiting times'.
School library — heart of a school's reading culture
The video 'Creating a reading culture — Windley School' is an example of the school library's pivotal role in creating a reading culture and supporting reading engagement throughout the school.
Creating a reading culture — Windley School (YouTube video)
What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education.
— Harold Howe, former US Commissioner of Education.
School librarians and principals can help instil a reading culture in a school by ensuring the library:
- is well-resourced, well-staffed and well-used — a vital catalyst for the reading culture of your school
- is included in visitors’ tours of the school
- is used for events
- is included in the teachers’ lunchtime duty rosters.
It is also important that:
- teachers collaborate with the librarian/s and use the library as an essential resource for their literacy programmes and initiatives
- evidence is displayed of the library staff encouraging students' development as readers, through the library's environment, resources and services.
Librarians' role in creating readers
Use assemblies, online presence and the community
Other ways of promoting reading in your school include:
- having teachers and students promote books at the school assembly — briefly, regularly and enthusiastically
- mentioning books and reading and the role reading played in success at other school gatherings or events such as prize-givings or parent and teacher interviews
- regular reading and book celebrations — not just once a year in book week, but each term hold an event or activity to promote reading
- encouraging guest speakers (including sportspeople, entertainers, 'people who help us') to mention reading and the role it plays in their lives when they are speaking to students.
As peers, school librarians and student leaders are important role models and can help promote reading by:
- promoting books at the school assembly
- displaying photos in the library of them reading during the holidays
- being given status and recognition.
Creating an online presence
There are numerous ways your school can promote a reading culture online including:
- displaying information on the school's website, intranet, blog, library home page about reading, readers, research, resources and links
- getting students to participate online in appropriate forums, such as LIANZA Book week consecutive story or graphic novel illustration competition, student writing sites, and book review sites.
Read about engaging teens with reading
The school’s local community plays an important role in a reading culture. Look out for:
- opportunities to get articles in the local paper about the school's focus on reading, about reading events, celebrations, milestones, library developments
- possible links between the school and public library — class visits
- the annual Kids' Lit Quiz for students in Year 6 – 8
- other book events such as the annual Reading Superheroes competition, Storylines, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and Library Week.
Kids' Lit Quiz
Ockham New Zealand Book Awards