Thursday 22 March 2018

Readers, bookworms and more

Al Qamar fosters the reading habit in children in countless ways. DEAR time and Read-a-thons have already been mentioned in previous blogs.

Another cool way is to integrate the library into the classroom - instead of having it in a separate space. This allows children to pick up a book anytime they are done with
the rest of their work. And sometimes, without even doing any of the work.  With no traditional style arrangement of tables and chairs, many nooks and crannies exist where a child can curl up with a book.

The library has carefully curated books on a variety of fiction and non fiction topics.  The books are  segregated into leveled in consultation with the children. However, children read across levels - an advanced reader picks up a Junie B Jones, while a newbie tries her hand at "Wind in the Willows'.

The library is refreshingly disorganized and thereby inviting.  Books are found everywhere - hidden in a desk, squirreled away in a tray with Montessori material, left on my table without a note.  There shelves are open style - there are no glass fronted cupboards to dissuade a child from browsing.  Yes, it can be messy - but its not antiseptic.

The older children themselves write down the names of the books they borrow or return in a register - thereby placing the onus of library management on the children themselves.  Periodically they decide to clean up the shelves, reclassify the books, repair the torn ones and replace the well read ones with a stash in a cardboard box.

The library is frequently replenished. One policy is to buy mostly second hand cheap books - which enables recycling of books and reduces the cost. Another fallout is that adults don't get so upset when books get worn with heavy use. Another way of replenishment we follow is to accept donations of "gently" used books from fellow bookworms.  (Do contact us if you have any)

A result - bookworms galore.  And this was the amusing result of the emphasis on reading - a proposal for Open Day which was submitted - for a project on books!

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