Leveling Up by Checking Out! 

  • Middle School
Leveling Up by Checking Out! 
You may think that asking for a book with a “blue cover” or a book with a “one-word title”, is an easy way out for a reluctant reader. But nothing could be further from the truth!

Those requests are direct results from the “MS Dragons Read: Semester 1 Reading Challenge,” one of the many creative ways that new MS Librarian, Claire Elam, is encouraging middle schoolers to spend more time in the library. 

Students spend some time during Spirit Week's Free Dress Day to catch up on reading.

Ms. Elam’s efforts are clearly paying off. This semester more than 110 students read at least one book for the Reading Challenge, earning individual points as well as House Points for their participation. House Points? Yes. To add to the excitement Ms. Elam has connected the challenge to House Points.

Some students went even further, leveling up and earning extra points for their Houses by reading a book in a day, or by reading more than the required amount of Panda Award-nominated books. At the end of the semester, the winning House (will it be Bassac Beasts, Red River Raptors or Saigon Squad?) will be announced at the winter assembly!

You can never have too many books for winter break. 

Ms. Elam, a voracious reader herself, believes in a lively library and finds many additional ways to encourage literacy among middle schoolers. In her weekly newsletter to students, for example, Ms. Elam exposes students to new literature through top ten lists, library hacks, and the “Cover Crop Quiz” (who wouldn’t love the challenge of guessing the book just from a tiny fragment of the cover?)

Ms. Elam helps a student in the Middle School library.

And as MS students prepare to head off for winter break, Ms. Elam has cooked up the “Read Everywhere” challenge, where students have a chance to enter a prize drawing for sending pictures of themselves reading in a creative location. We can’t wait to see what they come up with! 

Author: Tanya Olander
Communications Officer


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