Books 2 U
Reading for pleasure, outside of school assignments, makes a measurable difference in reading scores. Books 2 U brings books and the motivation to read directly into 3rd through 6th grade classrooms in over 65 schools where children are not meeting reading benchmarks. The program continues during the summer at federal free lunch sites, low income housing sites, summer schools, community centers and parks.
How does the program work? A team of 13 booktalkers - eight volunteers and five staff - visit classrooms throughout the school year. Each booktalker prepares an array of energetic, engaging booktalks that motivate children to seek out and select the books that sound interesting. Like a movie trailer, a good booktalk will introduce characters and stories so enticing, children can't wait to get their hands on the books to read. Booktalkers connect with students on a personal level, focusing on piquing the interest of those who seem to be most reluctant. Books 2 U books have high-interest topics that will get even the most hesitant or challenged readers to give reading a try. Booktalkers bring an array of books that they leave in the classroom so students can take them home.
“I had one little boy who was really struggling but I knew he loved Jackie Robinson. So I booktalked one book on Jackie Robinson. He read it. Then I brought another. Pretty soon, I had gotten him interested in other books on baseball stars. Now he has moved on to other books. It is all about finding the book that will get them started.” —Cathy Schneider, Books 2 U founder and program manager
See this program in action.
Books 2 U is made possible by gifts to The Library Foundation, including funding from the William D. and Ruth D. Roy Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation, the Anne A. Berni Foundation and a number of individual donors.