The School Library Monthly Update

from SD State Library School Library Services


The Power of the Read-Aloud

"When I say that reading aloud will change the world, I know it sounds simple. But one of the many great things about giving kids access to the power of stories and sharing them together is that it is simple. It is also cheap and easily done. And the impact is huge."

~Pam Allyn, Literacy Expert and Author

As school librarians, we have many important jobs, but two of the most vital are to foster the love of reading in our students and to help them find reading success. Luckily for us, there is one activity that effectively does both. The Commission on Reading states that "the single most important activity for building knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." And, in her book "The Artful Read-Aloud", Rebecca Bellingham asserts, "Children need rich and varied exposure to books and words and positive experiences with books and reading [through read-alouds] that set them on a course to become lifelong readers." And also luckily for us, reading aloud is part of our job! While classroom teachers can undoubtedly find it difficult to create the time and space for read-alouds, as school librarians it is an essential part of our instruction. If read-alouds could be an integral part of every K-12 library AND classroom, the impact would, of course, be even greater!

Learning the principles of an effective read-aloud can transform your teaching and your students' learning and engagement. When done well, read-alouds can help improve reading fluency and comprehension by exposing students to a variety of texts and literary styles. They can also increase students' vocabulary and background knowledge, as well as their ability to make connections between different texts. Additionally, read-alouds can provide a shared experience for students, promoting a sense of community and encouraging discussions about the text. They can also be used to introduce new topics or themes and to provide students with a model for good reading habits. Overall, read-alouds can be a valuable tool for promoting literacy and fostering a love of reading among students.

If you are interested in learning more about the art of the read-aloud and in improving your own read-aloud skills, join us for our March Book Study (see below).

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February 1 is World Read Aloud Day!

For 13 years, World Read Aloud Day has called attention to the importance of sharing stories by challenging participants to grab a book, find an audience, and read-aloud! The global effort, created by the non-profit LitWorld and sponsored by Scholastic, is celebrated annually in over 173 countries and is all about bringing people together through the shared connection of reading aloud in all of our communities. Learn more here.

And, on February 1st, join your favorite children’s book creators as they read, draw, and interact live with classrooms and families around the globe. Click the picture below for the full live show schedule as well as instructions on how to participate.

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Book Study: The Artful Read-Aloud

Join us in March for a book study that will increase your knowledge about innovative ideas that will enhance the effectiveness of your read-alouds. For this book study, you'll read and complete online journal entries/assignments for the book, "The Artful Read-Aloud", by Rebecca Bellingham. At the end of the study, we'll come together online for meaningful discussion.

You can find more information HERE.

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The School Library Scoop with Scottie

Episode23: BookFlix for Read-Alouds

Discover how to use BookFlix, one of SDSL's free electronic resources, as a read-aloud tool.
School Library Scoop with Scottie: Ep23 BookFlix for Read Alouds
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School Library Collect + Connect Meet-Up

Save the date for February's School Library Collect + Connect Meet-up (Wednesday 2/1, 3:30pm MT/4:30p CT)! The Collect + Connect Meet-ups are held monthly via Zoom and are an opportunity for school librarians across the state to gather, discuss, share, and learn.

The format for February's session will be an open chat discussion about BOOK CLUBS. Food for thought: Can read-alouds be used in conjunction with book clubs?

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Collect + Connect Day Camp

If you are looking to enhance your program offerings at your library and you are seeking to network in-person with other librarians from across the state, then SDSL’s Collect + Connect Day Camp has you covered!

This will be an annual professional development opportunity that rotates between east river and west river locations. This year, we’ll gather March 11 at the Ronnings Branch of the Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls. School, public, and academic librarians and library staff can attend at no cost and will earn 6 Continuing Education Credit Hours (CECHs) for their participation.

SDSL Outreach Librarians Cheyenne Chontos, Library Technology Coordinator, and Scottie Bruch, School Library Coordinator, will be your hosts, and the big topic of the day will be library programming. However, the Collect + Connect Day Camp will be run as an EdCamp where you and your colleagues are in control of the sub-topics and the discussion! To learn more about the Edcamp format, follow this link: Below is the itinerary for the day (subject to changes) and the registration link. Email or with questions.

For more information and the program schedule, click HERE.

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..from SDSL School Library Services

The Weekly Update is a correspondence from the South Dakota State Library focusing on current topics in school libraries, best practices, resources, professional development, and more.

SDSL does not endorse any service or product listed or linked to in this newsletter.