In Gloucester County, a $990 continuation grant was awarded to Chester Ridge Middle School educator Elizabeth Campbell to expand the original Books LIVE! project. The Booktalks collection will be increased and the excitement for reading fostered by the initial grant will grow.

A series of six new booktalks will be created, which will be advertised with a display in the library. During the booktalk, Campbell will present a “commercial” that would demonstrate the “excitement, wonder, heartbreak, hilarity, and insight” of reading. Student volunteers would create multi-media booktalk presentations. Funds would be used to create the displays and purchase sets of fifteen recommended books for the school library.

Prior to the school year, a recommended booklist will be finalized and shared with the community librarian. The librarian would meet with the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade reading teachers to share the objectives and coordinate learning activities. A calendar of Book LIVE! booktalks would be created. A Books LIVE! Googledoc site would be created for students to share comments.

Student surveys will collect information such as students’ perceptions of young people who do not live in a homogeneous suburban community and their views of social injustice.

Guests from the community would be invited to share their reading experiences and the impact of reading on their lives. Students would complete a survey at the end of the school year which would be compared to the original survey to improve future booktalks.

A Books LIVE! reading celebration would be held for students and their parents/guardians.

For further information, contact:

Elizabeth Campbell
(856) 582-3535 (Chestnut Ridge Middle School)

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