OIS Library Circulation Statistics Tuesday, Jan 12 2010 

In the picture above, you will see the circulation statistics for the Odenville Intermediate Library. The blue bars show monthly book check out for the 2008 school year (last year) while the red bars show THIS year’s number of checkouts (2009). We are VERY proud of the number of books circulating this year as compared to last year. What a wonderful improvement for a school of approximately 500 students. Yay!! This is truly a testament to our wonderful teachers and the never-ending support from our administration, allowing us to incorporate programs, contests and new titles in our collection… making the library an exciting place to be.

Reading ROCKS!


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 jamie.champagne@sccboe.org 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!!

What Do Boys Want? NON-FICTION! Wednesday, Nov 18 2009 

Our school libraries will remain largely unused by boys if we don’t have what they genuinely want to read. There may well be many books in our libraries that will benefit boys, broadening their experience, helping them mature, widening their vocabulary, giving them confidence, and aiding the rest of their learning; books achieve such things not by their high literary quality – though some of them will have this – but by being read.

Our challenge is to value boys’ reading tastes, whatever they are; to feed demand for the popular; and to tempt boys by the very best.
We can never be confident that we know enough about which books boys want to see in their school library – or even more crucially, about which books would draw in those who never visit it. Our own guesswork is not good enough – we need to learn from the users. Talk to boys; if you are genuine about your need to know their reading tastes, they’ll respond to this: boys long for what’s real…the gross, the unexpected, the astonishing…the TRUTH. That’s why boys tend to lean more toward non-fiction. Now, don’t get me wrong. Each child is different. However, research shows that the vast majority of boys prefer non-fiction reading material. So why do boys, on average, tend to read less than girls? Think about the number of female educators we have. Females have reading habits far different from boys..and while never done purposely, female teachers do not always offer what appeals to male students in the area of reading. I have been guilty of this myself. What do you see women reading while waiting at the doctor’s office or on a plane? Fiction. Romance novels, mystery novels, etc. Men? Non-fiction. Time magazine, Sports magazines, newspapers… Eye opening, isn’t it?? Therefore, find non-fiction to put in your son’s hands…or that student who is a reluctant reader…and you might just have something.

Here are some frequent conclusions from surveys and experience;
Boys are more likely to read for a purpose, if they can see the point in it. What am I learning? What facts can I find? THIS is why boys often prefer non-fiction, books with photographs and captions…and “fun facts” books. These non-fiction interests can then spark an interest in the fiction books – sports, cars, animals, geography…Boys often crave the subject of the moment, and switch to new ones fast.

Magazines are a big hit with boys: Lego Club Magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Ranger Rick…because…they have articles about REAL stuff!

So, think non-fiction when you’re trying to coax your son into reading…and if your son doesn’t require coaxing…then you’re one of the lucky ones!

Check out one of my favorite resources for boys, when it comes to reading: Guys Read. Bookmark it on your computer…you never know, you might learn something!

How to Create an Addiction to Reading Friday, Oct 23 2009 

boy readingWhen a student says, “I don’t like books” or “I hate reading”, my response? You just haven’t found the right book yet! The key to creating readers is to find what interests each particular child – and give ample opportunities to read. Reading should be cherished and time to read created – and made fun. Make a visit to the book store or library a privilege, a family outing. Seek out author visits, special events and reading reward programs. Best of all? You can find most events through libraries and book stores that are FREE – offering inexpensive family fun – take advantage…and watch your child’s love of reading grow.

So how do you create a reading addict? Here are a few suggestions:

First and foremost, set a good example! Parents should be the reading model for their children. Keep lots of books and various reading material around your house. Turn off the TV and designate reading time in your home.

Find reading material that fits your child’s interest – do they play sports? Cheerleading? In the band? Do you have animal lovers? Crafty critters? What do they spend their time doing, what do they love and what excites them? I assure you, there’s a book about it!

Be in the book know. Read the same book as your child / teen so that you can have fun discussions about it. This helps them to work on comprehension – you could even create a parent child book club! An added bonus? You’ll know what your child’s reading, gain an insight to their likes and dislikes AND you’ll be reading the same book, so if the book contains something you disagree with, whether it be morally/spiritually – you’ll find it because YOU’RE reading it!

Read aloud together every day. Add fun by reading outdoors , at a park, in various rooms around the house – and don’t forget to let your children read to you! Encourage them to ask questions and interject…get their imaginations flowing!

Purchase magazine subscriptions in your child’s name, like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Highlights for Children, or National Geographic World. Encourage older children to read the newspaper and current events magazines. You can even subscribe to some magazines for free, such as Lego Club (you can find it in the “free reading” section of the website. Magazine subscriptions make GREAT year long gifts – and they can be used after they’re read…for school projects and crafts!

Take your children to Book stores and libraries as fun outings – it makes for a great family outing and is often FREE.

Telling the kids their bed time is at 7:30 – when you really don’t mind if it’s 8 allowing them time to read in bed. They are happy to stay up “late” in bed to read!

Place books in all areas of your home – sitting around in baskets, on book shelves and out as displays on tables or even between book ends on dressers and night stands. It’s always a good idea to have books in your purse and/or car for times when you get caught in traffic or have to wait at the doctor’s office.

Create a COMFY reading place in your home or their rooms – one that is a special place to cuddle up with a good book.

Purchase or make your child book plates. Personalizing a book with a sticker or name label creates a sense of pride and belonging – and also helps when a favorite book is lost at school or a friend’s.

And most importantly, make reading a privilege, not a requirement. If you make a child read “for pleasure” in order to earn TV time, toys, gaming time, etc…you will only create a resentment for reading that will build over time. Most adults who do not enjoy reading, my husband included, have been forced as a child to read material they did not choose in order to “earn” time doing things they DID enjoy. THIS is never the answer.

Remember…read to succeed…it truly is the key to knowledge.

Where the Wild Things Are Monday, Oct 5 2009 


I am SUPER excited about this new movie – Where the Wild Things Are. This is a classic children’s book, one sure to be a joy for the entire family. If you haven’t heard of the author, Maurice Sendak, or the book…I highly suggest you try to find it from your local library. This would be a great opportunity to compare and contrast the book and movie with elementary school aged children. Here’s a little information about the story:

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE is about a little boy
named Max who misbehaves and is sent to his room by
his mother, without his supper. While Max is alone in
his room, his imagination takes him far, far away to a
land where wild things live. These large, strange looking
creatures are tamed by Max, who stares
directly into their yellow eyes and becomes king of the
wild things. Soon Max grows tired of being in the land
of the wild things and longs to return home “where
someone loved him best of all.” The end of the story
finds Max back in his own bedroom, where his supper
is waiting for him.

The movie premiers October 16th. Be sure to check your local theater – many are offering opening day events, such as one of our local theaters, Premiere Cinemas at The Gadsden Mall. They’ll be hosting a Where the Wild Things Are celebration October 17th from 9:00-11:00am. They’ll have free games, activities and a reading of the original story leading up to a $5 showing of the first movie that day – sounds fun!

Be sure to check out the links below for some WILD THING fun!

A few links to get you excited about the movie…

See the movie trailer for Where the Wild Things Are

Win a free copy of Where the Wild Things Are on DVD!

Be Max for Halloween: How to make a Where the Wild Things Are Halloween costume!

Know about other fun links or activities? Leave a comment and let us know!

Real Cowboys Read Books…at the Fall Bookfair! Sunday, Sep 13 2009 


Giddy on up to the fall book fair at OIS! Books Are Fun/Imagine Nation is hosting our annual fall book fair complete with your all time favorite classics, new releases and fab finds that are sure to grab your attention! A few of the series and other items you’ll find at the book fair include:

*Diary of a Wimpy Kid
*Star Wars
*Magic Tree House
*Cooking and Recipe Books
*Crafting Books
*Coloring Books
*Tech Girls
*Super Heroes
*$1 books
*Teaching and Learning Books
*Dragon Slayers Academy
*President Obama
*The Night Before… (Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, Summer Vacation, etc.)

…and many more! Shopping will take place throughout the week, September 14-18, as well as Thursday night – Family Reading Night! Make sure you join us to shop the book fair, visit the library and talk to staff from the Odenville Public Library about upcoming events. We can’t wait to see you there!

Mark your calendar as we celebrate the book fair this week:

Monday, September 14: Dress up as your favorite book character

Wednesday, September 16: Dress up in your best western attire
(Costume Contest Day – win a gift certificate from Tractor Supply!)

Friday, September 18: Wear your cowboy/cowgirl boots

Be sure to visit us throughout the week to see our western decor throughout the school, thanks to our wonderful volunteers! Classes are participating in a door decorating contest – you’re welcome to stop by, shop around and join in on the fun!


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 http://www.edpubs.org/webstore/Content/search.asp.

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.


President Obama Urges Parents to Read! Tuesday, Aug 18 2009 


President Barack Obama urges parents to read to their children. There is no replacement – video games, television, sports…we all enjoy these activities, but it is crucial to set aside time to read with our children…in school and at home.

Barack Obama:
“In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent – for a mother or father who will […turn off the TV, put away the video games,] read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father, when I say that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That’s an American issue.”

You can find President Obama’s full speech to the Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009, here.

*The National Children’s Reading Foundation suggests reading aloud with your children for 20 minutes daily to build their listening and language skills – no matter what their age!

Read Kiddo Read Monday, Jul 13 2009 


Looking for books to peak your child’s interest? Or maybe you’re a student, looking for books to peak your OWN interest? Check out Read Kiddo Read. A site created by James Patterson, Read Kiddo Read will break down books by interest and age, as well as catch your attention by subtitles such as, “Summer Reading Doesn’t Have to be Punishment”. Sign up for the newsletter, become a member of the community and even find lessons (for all you teacher folks)! Interested? Check it out!

Read Kiddo Read!

Next Page »