Help OIS Win a Grant Tuesday, Feb 2 2010 

OIS has applied for a microgrant from Weekly Reader. You can help us win! Here’s what you need to do…and trust me…it won’t take but a MINUTE of your time!

Go to the Weekly Reader Grants Page. In the middle of the page it will say “Search Microgrant Projects”. The first search box will say “search all projects” … in the second box, type my name – Jamie Champagne. Click search. It will pull up my microgrant and from there, you’ll just click on “Vote For Me” and fill in your information.

Your vote is GREATLY appreciated – not only by me, but the students of OIS. YOU could make a difference for our school – thank you so much!!


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!!

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!

Candy Apple Book Giveaway – 6 Books, 2 Winners! Monday, Nov 16 2009 

girly girlOkay, so the last giveaway was geared a bit toward the boys…and this one is definitely a giveaway for the girls! If you haven’t heard of Candy Apple books, it’s an AWESOME series for you girls! The reading level is about a fourth grade level, the age range being approximately 8-12. As they describe themselves, “Candy Apple books…just for you. Sweet. Fresh. Fun. Take a bite!”. If you’re a reader (or your daughter is) who has read EVERYTHING OR if you know a reluctant reader, these books would be perfect…and we’re giving away two sets of 3 books – YES, that means TWO winners…and just in time for the holidays!!

The first set will include:
Miss Popularity
The Accidental Cheerleader
Drama Queen

The second set will include:
The Boy Next Door
How To Be A Girly Girl in Just Ten Days
Accidentally Fabulous

Be sure to click on the books for more information about each one (from Amazon).

So…that’s two winners of three books each – yay! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which set sounds the best to you and why…set 1 or set 2?

Be sure to leave your email address in EACH comment. This is so I’ll have a way to contact you if you win. If you are an OIS student, put “OIS” somewhere in your comment.

Want extra entries? Just leave a separate comment for each thing you do below…you can enter up to 7 times!!
miss popularity
*Tell me who these will be for if you win…you? A daughter? A friend?
*Tell me your favorite series for girls!
*Subscribe to Reading Rocks – either by email or reader…and let me know in a comment!
*Leave a comment on a NONGIVEAWAY post on Reading Rocks – and leave a comment letting me know which post.
*Tell me something else you would like to see on Reading Rocks.
*Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, tell me something you’re thankful for!

This giveaway will end December 1st. The winners will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond. Good luck and happy reading!

Best Book Blogs for Kids Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 


Looking for a creative way to get your children interested in reading? Maybe you need some ideas on the “in” books out on the market…or better yet, maybe you have a computer junkie who you want to move away from Internet games and toward more valuable web sites? Maybe you ARE a kid and you’re looking for new books to read. Well, check out the blogs listed below…these are specific to kids and the books they’re reading NOW. Hope you’ll find something you like! Let me know!

Books for Your Kids

The Children’s Book Review

A Year of Reading

Dog Eared (National Geographic Kids)

Books for Kids

Kids Lit

Kids’ Comics

Kids Book Blog

Green Books Blog

Spaghetti Book Club

The Reading Tub

Reader Views

Curled Up With a Good Kids Book


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)

Happy Birthday! Friday, Sep 4 2009 


We want to wish a very happy birthday to our Birthday Book Club students for the months of August and September. These students donated a book to the library in honor of their birthday and we APPRECIATE them and LOVE the fact that THEY LOVE TO READ!! We hope each of you have/had an EXCELLENT birthday and enjoy reading your book. I look forward to hearing ALL about it!

Gabriella C.
Stephanie D.
Isaiah H.
Raven H.
Andrew M.
Destiny O.
Tristan O.
Austin S.

Cracker Barrel’s Rockin’ Reader Program Wednesday, Aug 19 2009 


Odenville Intermediate School was recently selected as a participating school in Cracker Barrel’s Rockin’ Reader Program. We are so excited to be a part of this program! Rockin’ Reader builds caring and literacy in the community by providing a comfortable space for volunteers to read with children. As a grant recipient, OIS will be rewarded with Cracker Barrel double rockers and a barrel bookcase stocked with books. In the first year of the program, volunteers at 122 partner schools nationwide contributed 16,400 hours of reading time with children. That’s amazing! To find out more about the program, click on one of the following links:

More information concerning Rockin’ Reader

Reading tips for volunteers

List of 2008-2009 partner schools

Rockin’ Reader in the news

If you would like to volunteer to read in the Rockin’ Reader Center at OIS, please email Mrs. Champagne:

Our materials are scheduled to be delivered sometime between September 14th and September 25th. We can’t wait!

Smokey Robinson Says…READ! Sunday, Aug 9 2009 

Our library’s most recent autograph is from Smokey Robinson! While I’m a huge fan, I’m hoping most of our students will be familiar with Smokey from his recent appearance on American Idol. Not only was Smokey Robinson kind enough to send our school an autographed picture, but he also sent a personalized statement regarding reading (see below) – thanks so much, Smokey!!

Some of Smokey’s hit songs include:

I Second That Emotion
Tears of a Clown
You Really Got a Hold on Me

I can’t wait to frame and hang Smokey’s picture and statement on our “Reading Rocks” wall! YOU rock, Smokey!smokeyrobinsonletter

Next Page »