• Susan Hefley

Book Reporter

Each morning we start our day with live morning announcements run by our student leaders. This typically is a crew of two tech people: one to run the teleprompter and another to operate the mixer (green screen and audio controls), and two announcers. We have a script that student announcers have input into and of course each adds their own flare, but honestly is very much the same each day. Good morning, the date, weather, lunch menu and birthdays followed by the school creed and pledges. We are blessed to have an amazing principal who basically ad-libs her own little talk show in the middle and knows just what to say each day to address issues, school business, make announcements, issue challenges, promote her favorite word (kindness) and yes encourage reading and books. However I still wanted MORE. Last year I added another position to our little team: a Book Reporter.

Book Reporter and Guest Star

I LOVE our Book Reporter position. I deliberately try to select our strongest readers and speakers for this position, as their script changes daily AND I want them to be the most enthusiastic. Sure I want to wish everyone a good morning with pep and energy, but I am a librarian and I want my best reporter talking about BOOKS and READING. That is exactly what a Book Reporter does. It too has become a little formulaic with the same basic scripts every Monday, then every Tuesday, every Wednesday and so on. However, I do add new scripts based on school and world events, things I think of or just new ideas. Nothing is set in stone.

What does the Book Reporter report? Anything and everything books and reading including:

* Tweets from the World of Reading (bonus as then we can discuss and display Digital Leadership skills too AND encourage teachers to tweet in hopes of their tweets being displayed! Kids love to see themselves on Morning Announcements)

* Nonfiction minute: a short video about a nonfiction topic and show some corresponding books they can check out

* Special Guest Stars: Students sharing their reading goals (this should be a school-wide expectation but I have found this to be the hardest to keep up with as teachers do not always have students tracking their reading or using reading logs)

* Special Guest Stars: Book Talkers. These are other students that want to share a great book that they have read.

* Sharing NEW library books.

* Sharing library contests and news.

* Advertising/promoting the library and Book Fairs.

* Sharing books based on a theme (January will be kindness, February Black History Month, March E-Books, etc.)

* Sharing books in our Book Buck Store and how to earn Book Bucks

* First page Fridays: I typically have the book reporter interview me (the librarian) and I show and book talk ANY book I want and share the first page (or two). I started with Genius Files by Dan Gutman and am now working through the Texas Bluebonnet books, but really would promote any book with a gripping first page.

* Book Trailers: I tend to save these as backup for emergency scripts in case of my absence or some morning announcement emergency (they do happen). They are easy to just roll with anytime.

IF we ever get an author to visit our little school the Book Reporters are the ones that have the honor of sitting down and acting like Barbara Walters and interviewing them. We record and share these interviews. You can see our interviews from last year with Michelle Staubach Grimes.

I am sure that the Book Reporter position will continue to grow, evolve and change. We will come up with new ideas and ways to encourage reading and picking up books but for 30-90 seconds every morning THIS has made a small difference in encouraging reading in our school. To view our scripts from this year, please checkout this folder.

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