By Teachers, For Teachers
May is all about reading! First, we shared tips on how you and your class could celebrate Children's Book Week. Now, we want to get you in the spirit of Get Caught Reading Month.
Get Caught Reading Month is a nationwide campaign that reminds people how much fun it is to read! Launched in 1999 by former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, and supported by the Association of American Publishers, this campaign has set out to spread the word about the joys of reading.
Well-known figures such as Rosie O'Donnell, Robin Williams, and Dolly Parton have been "caught reading" to help promote this campaign (You can view all of the celebrities who have embraced this campaign here). Research shows that the development of early literacy skills through books, are linked to a child's success in reading. Armed with this knowledge, the Get Caught Reading Campaign hopes to encourage children and people of all ages to enjoy books.
There's still time for you and your students to 'get caught reading'! Here are a few ways teachers and librarians across the United States can participate in the Get Caught Reading Campaign:
Hang a Poster - Order a free poster of a celebrity "caught reading" to hang in your classroom or school hallway. This is a great way for students to visually see their favorite celebrity reading, and will help encourage them to read themselves.
Get Caught Reading Tickets - Every time you catch one of your students reading, give them a golden ticket. At the end of the month the students can cash them in for a prize.
Set Up a Book Club - During the month of May, set up a weekly book club where students meet and discuss a current book they are reading during Get Caught Reading Month.
Have a Reading Day - Choose one day during the month of May to devote to reading all day long. Invite parents to join in, and have parents and students take turns reading throughout the day.
Camera Contest - Organize a camera contest where each student must find different members of the community reading, and take their picture. The student that captures the most people reading wins a prize.
Book Drive - Host a book drive! Invite students to bring in slightly used books and take a class trip and donate the books to a local shelter or hospital.
Mystery Reader - Celebrate Get Caught Reading all month long by inviting mystery readers into your classroom. Send a secret note home to parents to sign up so you can have a different mystery reader every week.
Invite a Local Author to Read - Contact a local author to come in and read one of their books to the class. Make sure to take a class photo with the author reading, this way you can turn it into a poster and hang it in the hallway. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the logo for a Get Caught Reading Poster.
Set Up Book Time - During the month of May, designate an hour a day of class time solely for reading. Refer to it as "Get Caught Reading Time."
Draw a Picture - Have students draw a picture of a classmate they caught reading. At the end of the month, collect the drawings and create a class book titled "Got Caught Reading."
For more ideas, visit the Get Caught Reading website.
Sources: Snow, C.E. & Ninio, A. (1988) "The Contacts of Literacy: What Children Learn from Learning to Read Books," in W.H. Teale & E. Sulzby (Ed.) Emergent Literacy: Writing and Reading, Norwood (as cited in Reach Out and Read Program Manual)