Wanamaker Library Newsletter

January 2020

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Here's to a Year of Reading!

"Mrs. Reinert, do you have any good book recommendations for me?" This is a common question asked in our library! It is my goal to get to know the students and their individual interests, so that I can help them find books that they enjoy. It's a work in progress, and sometimes we're successful in finding that new favorite book and sometimes not so much.

When the students come back to school after winter break, some will need a gentle nudge to help find a book to read. In library class, the students and I will spend time sharing book talks on some of our favorite books or on books that we read over winter break. Student recommendations are a powerful way to promote books--who doesn't like to talk about a great book they just read?!

We will also look at websites that help students find book recommendations. James Patterson's ReadKiddoRead.com and NoveList Plus from the Kansas State Library are two of my favorites, and links to both of these resources can be found on our library website.

I've included a picture in this article showing the top 25 books that were checked out this year in our library. Some students are drawn to their old favorites, and while I love that students have their favorites, I also want to challenge them to try new genres and expand their reading lives.

We will discuss the importance of reading goals, and how we can find more time to read outside of school. Trying a new genre, reading more non-fiction, reading aloud with family members, or just spending more actual time reading are all examples of worthwhile reading goals.

Here's to finding that NEXT new favorite book in 2020!

If you completed the Winter Break Reading Bingo, don't forget to turn it in to Mrs. Reinert when you return to school in January!

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Gung hay fat choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

Gung hay fat choy is how Cantonese speakers wish you a happy new year--literally "wishing you great happiness and prosperity." Chinese New Year, often called the Spring Festival, is the most important holiday in China and Chinese communities around the world.

The Chinese New Year 2020 will fall on January 25, and the festival will last to February 8, about 15 days in total. 2020 is a Year of the Rat, according to Chinese zodiac. Ranking the first in the Chinese zodiac, rat represents wisdom. In the Chinese culture, rats represent working diligently and thriftiness, so people born in a Rat year are thought to be wealthy and prosperous.

The Kindergarten students will learn about the Chinese New Year in their library classes this month. We will read fiction (The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale) and non-fiction (Celebrating Chinese New Year) books about the festival and the many customs and activities associated with the festival.

The students will get to try a fortune cookie after our lesson (courtesy of Oriental Express Restaurant), and they will leave class with a Chinese New Year sticker and a Year of the Rat coloring sheet.

The above information was taken from the following website. It is a great site to visit if you or your child would like to learn more about the Chinese New Year!


Autism Awareness Conference

My daughter, Claire, and I recently attended an Autism Awareness conference held at Truman State University (where my daughter goes to school). The conference featured Dr. Temple Grandin, a leading advocate for autistic communities, author of numerous books, professor at Colorado State University, and a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior.

Temple was diagnosed with autism as a child and didn't speak until the age of 4. Now 72 years of age, Temple is an amazing woman with a fascinating story. If you haven't seen the movie about her life with Claire Danes starring as Temple, check it out! We also have several books in our library about her life (shown below). Her story is both remarkable and inspirational.

Student Council Spreads Holiday Cheer

December was a busy month for the WE Student Council. All representatives and alternates were invited to go holiday caroling after school one day. The students gathered in the library for cookies and hot chocolate before loading the bus. This year we went to Ms. Costello's mother's place of residence, Wesparke Village, to entertain the residents. They enjoyed having the students and many sang along with them. In addition to knowing Ms. Costello's mom in the audience, we also met a resident who graduated from Wanamaker Elementary in 1939!

Student Council members sold Holiday Grams to students the last week of school in December. This included a Christmas tree cutout with a candy cane attached to it. The proceeds from the Boo Grams sold in October and the Holiday Grams in December go toward charitable donations. This year the Student Council members decided to donate the proceeds to The Villages, Inc. The Villages is a group home for youth who cannot live at home for various reasons. These donations were presented by the Student Council at the holiday assembly held on Dec. 20. Student Council sponsors are Ms. Costello, Mrs. Fairchild, and Mrs. Reinert.

Upcoming Dates

Week of Jan. 6--Mrs. Reinert assists with introducing Famous Kansans research project to 4th graders

Jan. 10 & 24 --Student Council meetings at 8:00 a.m. in the library.

Jan. 14--Morning Book Club meeting at 8:00 a.m. in the library. Please bring your copy of Sled Dog School and wear your t-shirt if you would like.

Jan. 22--Battle of the Books meetings during 4th, 5th and 6th grade lunch hours.

Feb. 14 to 20--Scholastic Book Fair (watch for information to come home with your student and for book fair volunteer opportunities).

Wanamaker Library

We strive to make our library a welcoming place that fosters the love of reading and empowers the school community to become effective users of information.