The month of April is Reading Literacy Month at Canada Royal Arts High School. Our students will be working on their reading literacy by choosing engaging books that they can read throughout the month. To start of Literacy Month with a bang, we created a fun event to put an exciting spin on reading.
The wonderful teachers and staff have been collecting books, magazines, graphic novels, and other forms of literature for the past few weeks. Because our school doesn’t have an official library, we decided to create one for the students.
Tuesday April 17 was the set date for our ‘Reading Cafe’ event. Students had the opportunity to choose one book that they are to read for the entire month. We’ve also established a simple rewards system for our students that would give them prizes for reading books (as well as certain behavior). The room was decorated in a coffee shop manner. As a result we decorated with fruits, vegetables, drinks, and special treats laid out on the main table. In addition, books of all genre’s and types were laid out around the room to give students the chance to see what was out there. The goal was to get students to choose and read an interesting book while they munched out on goodies and enjoyed drinks.
It was great to see how engaged everyone was when they found an interesting piece of literature to read – whether it was a cooking book, a graphic novel, or a magazine.
Tips for a Successful Reading Cafe
Ask the students to put all their phones away. We had a bin that was passed around. All the students put their phones in the bin and were not distracted by it for the duration of the block.
Have a wide variety of literature around. After spending a few weeks collecting books in different genres and types, we could really see what peaked each students’ interests.
Create a cozy environment. We moved around the couches and tables. Our Principal brought in a cozy stuffed toy. We moved the tables around to mimic a cafe style setting with table clothes.
Make the students accountable for their reading and book choices. All the books that were chosen were recorded on a piece of paper. Furthermore, each student had to choose a Reading Mentor that would help them through their Literacy Month journey.
Create an environment of excitement. Reward points for reading and acknowledge students for their reading efforts.
How to create a simple, yet engaging, Rewards System.
How to encourage students to read with Student Mentors.