Creating a Community of Readers

As part of an effort to promote reading and to build a community of lifelong readers, I asked my colleagues to demonstrate to our students that teachers are readers too. We created poster collages and prominently displayed book covers of books read throughout the year. This year, together with my colleagues Andrea Hernandez, Edith Horovitz, and Stephanie Teitelbaum, we’ve elevated the reading community idea to a whole new level. With the A to Z Reading Challenge, we are challenging our students to read through the alphabet. Feel free to read more about this challenge in our blog post recently published on Edutopia.

Acknowledging the fact that every reader has different reading preferences, students are participating in a more personalized reading experience, allowing them a choice of titles they find most interesting and meaningful. In all, we’ve designed four different challenges: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum–each requiring a minimum number of books and genres read depending on grade level. Students will earn a badge for their reading efforts.


Only three weeks into the new school year, we are off to a fabulous start. The following image shows a mere snapshot of one student’s reading completed since June 2014. At the rate she is going, we may have to create a Double or Triple Platinum badge!


To continue the theme of building a community of readers, we are also challenging our colleagues to participate in a variation of the student challenge. Faculty must read at least two professional development books in order to earn a bronze badge. Reading five professional development books plus at least two books for each of the 26 letters in the alphabet will earn a faculty a platinum badge.


The first faculty reading posters are up and quickly filling out! We are checking out each other’s posters and inquiring about books read. Informal conversations ensue–and community is enhanced! I’ve observed students and parents doing the same and asking about various titles. The reading community at our school is alive and well!




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