Though the slogan “I’m a beast when I read” may not fit the scholar or the adult bibliophile, it’s wild with new readers in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s the theme that Thomas Edison High School readers have adopted and have now shared with early readers at Waite Park.
Edison has a school-wide reading program known as SSR (Sustained Silent Reading). Everybody reads a book of his or her choice for 45 minutes. The “bookmobile” circulates so every reader has a chance to choose a favorite or a book that shows potential! A recent survey indicates that 93% of the readers enjoy the experience – and library stats reflect a 100% increase in circulation, with 12,000 books checked out of the school library this year.
This spring Edison students decided to share their joy of reading with the “little kids” at Waite Park. First, the teen readers produced a series of posters. Edison students took great color photos of themselves reading. Posters are everywhere at the high school, with smaller posters now shared with the Waite Park 2nd and 3rd graders. Next, the Edison students designed a special t-shirt promoting the theme “I’m a beast when I read” which they wear with pride. The t-shirts, now in sizes to fit the 2rd and 3rd graders, will also be shared with the Waite Park new readers.
The day I visited Edison all was in readiness for the field trip to Waite Park – eyes sparkled and energy filled every corner of the library as the teens talked about the plans.
The results of the Edison students’ experiences have been shared with a whole new generation of newbie readers in Northeast. I’m betting that the libraries in Northeast will be seeing some fresh new bibliophiles during the summer months, thanks to the good work of some enthusiastic teens from Edison High School.
A whole new generation of “reading beasts” has been launched!