Get Graphic @ Your Library

Sherrie Rizzo, Suzanne Youngblood, and Sheila Dilks, educators at the Hopewell Crest School in Bridgeton (Cumberland County), were awarded a $2,440 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education. This grant was designated as a Verizon Family Literacy Partnership Grant, which supports family literacy programs in which public school educators partner with libraries or other community organizations.

Get Graphic @ Your Library analyzes surveys completed by fifth- through eighth-grade students. The surveys help gage students’ interest in reading graphic novels and attending after school book clubs. Reluctant readers and second-language learners are encouraged to participate in this after-school program which includes visits from local student artists who demonstrate artwork depicting characters from graphic novels such as manga and anime characters. The local bookstore is on hand, and county and public libraries help students obtain free library cards.

The after-school book club meets once a month in groups of 20 for each grade level to discuss the same graphic novel. The graphic novels are added to the school’s library collection.

In June, students and parents attend a culminating evening event where all the graphic novels are displayed, along with artwork from local student artists and any drawings made by students in the book club. Again, the local bookstore will have an information table at the event, and local and county libraries are invited to help students obtain library cards and sign up for summer reading programs. Interest in reading is surveyed at the beginning and end of the program, and indicates if there is interest in future graphic novels book clubs.

For further information, contact:
Sherrie Rizzo
(856) 453-0460