Medina school librarian challenges students to spend more time reading, less on phone
Press Release, Medina Central School
MEDINA – Librarian Jennifer O’Toole has issued a challenge to the students at the Medina High School.
Saddened by seeing students spending more time on their phones in their study halls rather than reading a good book, she wanted to increase students’ passion for reading.
“We noticed that the circulation in the library was going down over the last two years, which is really a shame since we have so many good young adult novels,” she said. “I talked to the English teachers and asked them how we could get the students more engaged in reading and we came up with the Reading Challenge.”
The Reading Challenge is completely voluntary.
“We tell the students they can choose their own book, whether it is a hard copy or electronic, that it has to be age appropriate,” O’Toole said. “They have to check with their teachers to make sure it fits the requirements and then complete an assessment when they have completed it. The students have to read one book per remaining three marking periods.”
They are eligible for winning a gift basket for each marking period. If they read four books, they are eligible for a grand prize drawing of Kindle Fires.
“We are making it very clear that they cannot watch movies or read synopsis online, that these assessments will be geared totally towards the books,” she said.
Mrs. O’Toole said thanks to the generosity of the members of the community and the school, there are great incentives to get students to participate in the challenge.
“After each marking period they will receive Reading Challenge tickets that are entered into drawings for a lot of great things that have been donated like gift cards and candy in our baskets,” she said. “Students can also receive two extra points on their English average each marking period as well.”
In addition, extra tickets can be obtained by borrowing books from the high school library and if the student is “caught” reading during a study hall.
The official kickoff was on Nov. 4 in the library and a representative from Lee-Whedon Library was on hand to give out information as well.
“We are really hoping students will participate not only for the prizes, but the fact that reading has so many positive effects like decreasing stress and improving memory”, says Mrs. O’Toole.