Sunday, May 26, 2013

Parent Book Club - Guest Post


Welcome, my friends, to my first ever GUEST POST! My fabulous school librarian (aka @ReaderRoberts) decided to hold a parent's book club this year, to give parents ideas for getting kids reading. This past week she held the inaugural session, with a "summer reading" focus. Let us know what you think! 

Parent Book Club - Summer Reading



Sometimes your best ideas come to you in a flash.  That is how it was with the parents’ book club.  One afternoon I was sharing a title with a parent volunteer and she ended up checking the book out of the library. Nothing unusual. This happens frequently to all of us when we booktalk.  What was different was that when the parent returned the book she made the remark that I should share this book with everyone. You have probably guessed by now that the book was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.



Through the year I have shared many other great titles –many of them discovered through my PLN on Twitter. The Only and Only Ivan, The False Prince, One For the Murphys, Bigger Than a Breadbox, and the title list could continue forever. Along with great books, other ideas have been floating through my brain to share, especially the idea of allowing young readers choice.

Once I realized I had something to share that parents might value I begin to plan the first parents’ book club.  I enlisted help from my co-workers Maria Selke (our teacher of gifted) and Amy Thomas (our instructional coach).  I knew both of these excellent teachers would bring something different to the discussion.  We decided on the theme “How to Keep Your Kids Reading in the Summer.” 

Maria signed on for science fiction and graphic novels and Amy shared picture books and strategies to get younger students reading and writing over the summer. My job was to present MG & early chapter books, non-fiction reads and our new online reading chat group on Edmodo.com. I also shared some great websites for book reviews, lists and read alikes. 

Wonderful books on display for parents to browse

Since this was the first time for the parents’ book club to meet, I had no idea if anyone would come or how much time to schedule.  After speaking with my co presenters, we decided we would each need 20 minutes bringing our whole presentation to an hour.  In reality, the total presentation lasted an hour and a half and 22 parents attended.









I highly recommend holding your own Parents’ Book Club. It is a great way to reach out to your school community.  If you plan to give this a try, here are a couple of suggestions.

  1. Get administrator support.
  2. Set aside at least 90 minutes in your schedule- just in case you run over.  It was nice not having to worry about a class appearing at the door and to have set up and clean up time.
  3. Spread the word. Parents talk to each other, so plant the seed with a couple of parents you know.
  4. Send out an email to the parents so they can put it on their calendar. 
  5. Ask for help. Get a colleague or two to add their area of expertise to the presentation.



I hope to do another parents’ book club in the fall. A theme idea hasn’t come to me yet, but I’m hoping for another flash soon.


I posted my science fiction presentation on Friday, and my comics and graphic novel presentation Saturday! Have you done anything like this at your school? How did it go?

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