Media Center Musings

Literacy Happenings at CMS

Mrs. Newton, Media Specialist

February 2014

Reading is Alive and Well at CMS!

"Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not." Our goal at CMS is to increase independent reading among middle school students, who are at an age when reading tends to drop. Independent reading happens when students choose their own materials to read. This reading can be for information or for pleasure. It can be fiction or nonfiction; books or magazines; in print or in e-format.

Working toward increasing reading at this age, can be challenging, but we believe that offering special programs that provide not only reading but literacy experiences will have a lasting effect on students. A common thread in all of the programs promoting reading is that of providing access to a variety of reading materials that will attract all readers, encourage reading, and send the message that reading can be fun..

A few of our latest programs include:

  • "Blind Date with a Book", a Lunch in the Library
  • Young Hoosier Book Awards
  • Advanced Readers
  • Civil War Re-enactment and guest speakers
  • e-Books

Work Cited: Independent Reading and School Achievement by Bernice E. Cullinan, NYU

Blind Date with a Book

BLind Date with a Book

100+ Students Sign Up for a "Blind Date" with a Book

While visiting the media center, students were greeted by a book display where the books were wrapped in paper. No longer could students judge a book by its cover, or even its title. Students accepted the challenge to step out of their comfort zones and chance reading a book they might never otherwise choose. Before coming to the lunch, students committed to reading at least 100 pages of the book. During the luncheon, students completed a "Rate Your Date" evaluation of the book and shared the reading experiences with other students seated at their tables.

Young Hoosier Book Award Reading Challenge

Students who read and vote for at least five of this year's YHBA nominee books by April 15th will qualify for a special "Decorate a Cookie" Party this spring. A list of the books can be located at:

So far this year, students and staff have read from this list almost 400 times.

Advanced Readers

The Advanced Readers are frantically reading books and logging pages from a suggested reading list to qualify for a field trip/shopping spree where they will have $2,500 to spend on books of their interest for the Library Media Center collection.

Battle of the Estate

Friday, April 25th, 8:30am

The Elmhurst Masonic Lodge, Connersville, IN, United States

Four years ago, our annual Civil War re-enactment began with a collection of Civil War books from "We the People" and a RIF program. Today it has grown to a kick-off for a weekend community event. On April 24th, local Civil War enthusiast, Jim Orr, and a few of his friends will be our guest speakers in the media center for a day-long rotation of eighth grade Social Studies classes.

e-Books Now Available

This year, we have included e-Books in our collection for checkout or use in the classroom through MackinVia. Students can access these books on a computer, iPad, iPod Touch, Nook, Kindle, Tablet, or SmartPhone. They simply log on using their normal computer log on information. We hope our e-book collection will continue to grow as students make use of this new technology in reading.

Connersville Middle School Library Media Center

The mission of the media center program is to ensure that all readers, students and staff, are effective users of ideas and information.