It has been a goal of mine for quite a while to create a modern version of the reading incentive program. The reading incentives that I’ve been aware of previously have all focused on students earning points towards tchotchkes. I see this as external motivation rather than encouraging students to find intrinsic motivation for reading. And giving rewards has a tendency to decrease interest and motivation rather than the opposite.
So over the past six months or so I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to partner with our local library, Forsyth County Public Library, to craft a new kind of reading program which we call iRead iCreate iShare. What we’ve created is an idea that can be replicated in any community anywhere in the world. And there is very little to no cost associated with it.
So here’s how it works:
Anyone ages 0 – 109 (and beyond) reads a book. Any book. There are no levels or scores or any restrictions other than conversations that parents and students have about what is appropriate in that family. Being passionate about the book will make the next part even more fun.
Now it’s time to create a book trailer. Think of this as being like a movie trailer but about a book. The goal is to entice others to read that book. We offer a series of questions and ask readers to choose three questions to answer as part of the book trailer. The book trailer has to be online. This is something that the student and parent or student and teacher or the adult does. We don’t restrict this to using any particular platform or online tool. We want the creator of the book trailer to decide how best to accomplish this task. We do have some resources for those who are looking for suggestions on how to create and share a book trailer online.
Now for the fun part! Participants complete an online form submitting the book trailer for consideration. If accepted the book trailer will become part of the iRead iCreate iShare website. And all libraries – both school and public – will be adding a QR code to the book so that patrons can watch these book trailers as they are choosing their next book selection.
And Forsyth County Public Library through their Friends of the Library program has graciously agreed to host celebrations for those whose book trailers are accepted. These celebrations may be opportunities for pajama parties to sharing a love of reading or times when an author comes to speak to the attendees or perhaps attendees will be asked to dress as their favorite character from a book.
This project would not have been possible without the support of Vanessa Cowie, Information Specialist, Youth Services, Forsyth County Public Library.