In the fall of 2021, the Bring Me a Book National School Consortium launched an action research study to determine the necessary personal, social, and environmental factors that help children develop a sustainable reading routine in a school setting.
Access to Books
Our goal is book abundance—children need access to books (and lots of them) wherever they are—in their homes, classrooms, schools, and in their communities.
Reader Agency, Identity, and Choice
Children are twice as likely to read a book they have chosen themselves.
Time to Read and Talk about Books
Reading is social. Children thrive as readers when they have time to read their books—as well as talk about them with others, particularly, with their peers.
Families are children’s first teachers—and their influence on children’s reading lives is immeasurable, especially when parents model their own reading lives and create a reading culture in the home.
Teacher Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers who share their own joy of reading have the greatest impact on their students; as scholar Shirley Brice Heath once wrote, “The single most important condition for literacy learning is the presence of mentors who are joyfully literate people.” But teachers and administrators also need access to current multi-dimensional research as well as time to absorb professional information, to meet and discuss the implications with their colleagues; and time and support to implement innovative and impactful practices in their own classrooms (Routman, 2018; Renwick, 2022).
Community Engagement: Partnerships with School and Public Libraries
Libraries are our “literacy equalizer” and “social safety net” (Farmer, 2021) because they are free, open to all, and offer the resources we need to live, learn, and thrive. High-achieving schools tend to have rich and extensive library collections— staffed by professional librarians—and more students who read frequently (Lance & Kachel, 2021).
Our School Consortium launches October 5—and for the most part, our nine participating schools have found a way to match our grant. In this way, the leadership of each school is supporting book abundance and making a commitment to student book choice and time for pleasure reading and talk about books.