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Olympic Reading Challenge

Emily Cave, Literacy Coach, Colegio Internacional Puerto La Cruz (CIPLC)

Elementary Students at Colegio Internacional Puerto La Cruz (CIPLC) are participating in a unique reading challenge. Students spent their first semester working on choosing “good-fit” books and becoming voracious readers. They have successfully met both goals and are ready for something more! Their second semester challenge is to broaden their horizons by reading 12 books by at least 5 different authors and write a review of those books. Inspired by the Sochi Winter Olympics, students who complete 12 book reviews will receive a gold medal, 8 a silver medal, and 4 a bronze.

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The real challenge here is to move beyond just finishing a book, but for students to analyze what they read. Can they recognize the author’s message? Are they able to give consideration to whether or not others would benefit from reading the book? We want our students not only reading voraciously, but critically. This is how people read and think about reading in the world outside the classroom.


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We are using this challenge to highlight the school library as a bridge between the classroom and students’ public reading life. Now that our students are proficient at choosing “good-fit” books, we want them to be able to search any library in the world and find books that are a good fit for them personally. Independently finding a book in a library that is not too challenging or too easy—as well as interesting or inspiring—can be quite a different experience than within the classroom.

Another aspect of the library as a bridge to students’ public reading lives is social media. Social media has become a staple of our daily lives. We want our students to experience living their literate life in connection with authentic pieces of their future life outside of school, such as social media. Through the Follett Destiny book review process, our students have an opportunity to learn how to navigate and contribute to social media responsibly. The next time you search for a book in your school’s Follett Destiny catalog, you may see a review from one of our CIPLC elementary students!


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