Rockin’ Reader – Reaching Readers Tuesday, Dec 8 2009 

If you haven’t read about our school’s partnership with Cracker Barrel through the Rockin’ Reader Program, you can read about it here. We are LOVING this program!!

I highly encourage any school who would like to participate to apply. The process is rather simple and the rewards are amazing! Parents, community members and school volunteers – this is DEFINITELY something you want to bring to your local school’s attention. I stumbled across it by accident – so it’s very possible that your school doesn’t know about the program! The online application can be found here. The only requirement? Submit the hours volunteers read to students twice a year – quick and simple. We’re LOVING it!! Thank you Cracker Barrell!!

Through Cracker Barrel’s Rockin’ Reader Program, partner schools will receive:
~2 double rockers
~Barrel Bookcase
~Assortment of books to start the program
~Volunteer resources

Our school has completed close to 25 volunteer hours. That’s parents and other community volunteers reading, one-on-one to and with students. I have set our yearly goal at a much higher number and am hopeful that we will reach it by the end of the 2009-2010 school year. We have an open door policy and we always welcome volunteers to come read with students.

If you would liek to read with students in our Rockin’ Reader Center, please contact me at or 205-629-2246 ext. 226. We would love to have you!

Thank you again to Cracker Barrel who has definitely enhanced our reading program here at OIS!!


Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Borders Book Giveaway and Cool Events! Wednesday, Oct 7 2009 


Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) Stores Nationwide to Celebrate the Release of ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days’ with Kids Parties Oct. 12

This Columbus Day holiday will be one for the books when kids gather at Borders and Waldenbooks stores nationwide Monday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. for in-store parties to celebrate the hotly anticipated release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” the fourth book in the Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney. The ultra-popular series, which also includes “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw,” features the snarky and hilarious journal entries of character, middle schooler and middle child Greg Heffley.

The parties will include such activities as trivia, games, cartoon drawing activities and even a Greg lookalike contest. Of course, customers will be able to buy “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” as well as the other titles in the series, but only Borders offers a customizable Wimpy Kid cotton t-shirt featuring an image of Greg with a “word” bubble that kids can personalize using the washable-ink marker that accompanies the shirt. The ink easily comes off in the wash so kids can customize their Wimpy Kid shirts again and again with a saying or favorite quote from the books. The shirt, which is only available at Borders and Waldenbooks, retails for $5.99 with a purchase of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” and $9.99 separately while supplies last.

The parties will officially kick off with a special welcome message from Jeff Kinney. Then, kids can delight in talking about their favorite characters and scenes in all of the Wimpy Kid books — and weigh in on what they would like to see happen in the upcoming “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” feature film. The afternoon will kick into high gear when ardent Wimpy Kid fans demonstrate their extensive knowledge of Greg, Rowley, Rodrick and their wacky experiences during the Trivia Challenge. After the adrenaline-pumping trivia heats, fans can tap the right side of their brains and create their own cartoon books. Rounding out the event will be a Greg lookalike contest where fans will be judged on how much they resemble Greg.

Twitter giveaway

Beginning Oct. 12 through Oct. 16, Borders will give away 20 free signed copies of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” via Twitter. Each day Borders will tweet four store locations where one lucky reader will be able to claim the book at that location by approaching a cashier and uttering the password: “cheese touch.” The first person to say the password will receive a free signed copy of the book.

Don’t have a twitter account? Simply go to Twitter to sign up now. Click on “Find People” and search for BordersMedia – no spaces! This will allow you to “follow” and be eligible to win!

Sounds like fun! Be sure to call or email your local Borders to see what events they’ll be participating in your town!

Book Giveaways Wednesday, Oct 7 2009 


If you browse around the Internet long enough, you’re sure to find some great book giveaways…and the only thing that makes books better is when they’re free! Each month I’ll be listing opportunities and links to win free books. I would LOVE to hear about any books you’ve won as well as other opportunites to win books from your website or others you’ve seen. Good luck and keep reading!

Win one of 15 copies of Beautiful Creatures – target audience is young adult

Win the 1st 2 books of the Scream Street series – Fang of the Vampire and Blood of the Witch – ages 9-12

Snuggle Me Storybooks
(Ends 10/14/09)

Win one of 2 copies of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar
(Ends 10/12/09)

Win a Leapfrog Tag Reading System!

Win a copy of the children’s book, I Met a Moose in Maine One Day – sounds super cute!
(Ends 10/21/09)

Win a very cool kid’s journal!
(Ends 10/9/09)

Two Times the Fun book giveaway by Beverly Cleary
Ages 4-8
(Ends 10/13/09)

Personalized book giveaway for little ones
(Ends 10/15/09)

Free Books! Friday, Aug 28 2009 

medium_Kids Reading

Free is always nice. There are a few companies offering free books when you send in UPC labels from their products. So, while it requires a small amount of work, free is usually worth it! There’s even one offer through Sunny D where you can help your child’s class earn a set of 20 books – just by sending in UPC labels! Most of these offers are “while supplies last”, so if you’re interested, move quickly! Many of these items you might have on hand (at home) – so you can start asking for your free books right away! Check out the offers and start sending in for your free books – happy reading!

Help your child earn 20 free books for your classroom – by sending in Sunny D labels!

Free book from Zyrtec – something we always have on hand at my house!

Free book when you submit a PediaSure UPC

There was one more book available from Lysol, but it has expired. If it becomes active again, I’ll let you know!

Free: Teaching Children To Read Video Friday, Aug 21 2009 


Parents, The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has a video titled Teaching Children to Read. I have not viewed the video, but it sounds promising – and it’s free! You can go here to order the video. Here’s a little more information from their website:

This 20-minute video highlights the findings of the National Reading Panel, an independent panel formed by congress and led by the NICHD to evaluate evidence-based reading research in an effort to understand the best ways to teach reading. The National Reading Panel led to the Partnership for Reading, a collaborative effort by the National Institute for Literacy, the U.S. Department of Education, and the NICHD to bring the findings of evidence-based reading research to those with an interest in helping all people learn to read well. Available in VHS only. The NICHD can only provide single copies of the video at this time. To order multiple copies of the video, contact EDPubs at 1-800-228-8813 (TDD/TTY1-877-576-7734) or visit the EDPubs Web site

Publish Date: 2000
Pages: 20 minutes
Preferred Citation:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS. (2000).
Teaching Children to Read (Video)-Second Edition.
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.


Lego Club Magazine – It’s Free! Saturday, Jun 27 2009 

legosOne of the ever-so popular magazines in our library is the Lego Club Magazine. Who doesn’t love building with Legos?? The bad news? These magazines are SO loved, they often come back to the library torn, pages missing, hanging out of their protective covers. The good news? You can get your own subscription for free!

Parents, fill out