Celebrations in the Media Center

Programs, Parties, Rewards and Events

Celebrate Reading All Year Long

AR Parties to Reward Reading
  1. Bingo for Books - give prizes that include books ordered with Scholastic dollars, gummy worms, bookmarks or other reading themed gifts.
  2. Movie and Popcorn - select a movie to show that is based on a fun book book. I try to find movies that are not too long and that are more recent. Some ideas might be Gruffalo, Spookley the Square Pumpkin, or Arnie the Donut.
  3. Bouncing for Books - rent a bouncy house for the day
  4. Puzzle Palooza - gather different types of puzzles such as floor puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles and computer based puzzles (World Book has a bunch of them).
  5. Game Day - gather board games for students to play and give them hot chocolate and cookies
  6. Breakfast with Champion Readers - give students reading medallions and have them come to the media center during the news. While watching the news give them donuts and juice. Highlight the top 3 readers on the news.
  7. Popsicles in the Pirate Park - give students popcsicles and extra play time on the playground or a nearby park.
This a link to the Elementary Librarian's ideas on AR celebrations in the media center.
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My Favorite Celebrations and Programs

Below are a list of celebrations and programs that I have done in the past. My Library Programs Pinterest Board is linked HERE. Click on many of the ideas below to see a Pinterest Board or Web link with resources I used to develop these events.
  1. Bubble Gum Day - first week in February. I have collected many book about Bubble Gum for the library and we chew gum during media and kids bring a quarter donation to pay for the gum. It is also a fundraiser to buy more books.
  2. Gingerbread Friends in the Library - my Gingerbread Fun Pinterest Board. I read latest Gingerbread stories to students and use a Gingerbread man scavenger hunt for young students to learn their way around the library. I also use the Library Gingerbread Man book to help second and third graders learn about the Dewey Categories.
  3. Storybook Character Pumpkin Contest - my Storybook Pumpkin Pinterest Board
  4. Legos and Literature (Legos in the Library) - I held a fun Lego Literature competition during our book fair. Judges assessed the projects and awarded the best projects Book Bucks to the book fair. There are many other Library and Lego activities found on my Lego Pinterest board.
  5. Read Across America/Dr. Seuss's Birthday - this is my Newsletter from last year celebrating Read Across America. I do a Book Swap, Dr. Seuss Trivia on Socrative, a school-wide dress up week, and take Seussies. My Dr. Seuss Pinterest Board.
  6. Birthday Book Club - each month we send home the permission slips to students who have birthdays. We feature the students on the morning news and they student donates money or a book to the media center. We put student's pictures in the monthly newsletter and hang them in a display in the media center.
  7. Reading Challenges - Students read within a genre or type of literature. Then they take AR tests to show that they have actually read the books. To qualify for the challenge, students must read within their ZPD (reading range set by STAR Test) and pass the AR tests with a 70% or higher. Students are awarded brag tags to signify they met the challenge and their names are shared on the news.
  8. Book Swap - my Pinterest Board on Book Swaps and Exchanges. I've done this for the past 3 years with great success.
  9. Literacy Fair - my Pinterest Board on holding a Literacy Fair. I have yet to hold one of these fairs in the media center, but used to do it in my classroom. There are some great ideas to add technology to the fair presentation choices.
  10. Dot Day - my Pinterest Board on Dot Day. I read the books and put creative books on display. This year Epic had the books on their site during the week of Dot Day.
  11. Book Tasting Event - below is a how to video on setting up one of these events. You can also host a Speed Dating with a Book event or for the younger kids Musical Chairs with a Book. All of them give the students a quick look at a book to see if they would like to read more.
  12. Summer Reading - we participate in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge each year at Palencia. I award prizes to the top readers from each grade level. During the media at the end of the year, I give students their usernames and passwords and show them all the fun activities that they can do on the Scholastic website. There are many summer programs to choose from. Here are more ideas on my Summer Reading Pinterest Board. This is the Summer Reading Edition of my newsletter.
Book Tasting Instructional Video: How to Host a Book Tasting Event - YouTube

Celebrate Literacy Week Florida

Celebrate Literacy Website with links to an Activity Tool Kit that includes posters and bookmarks. There is also a link to each districts activity plans which can give you lots of ideas on how to celebrate.
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A Plethora of Programs, Innovative and Engaging

The Show Me Librarian has a great blog post on library programs. These are mostly public library events but many of them can be easily adapted to the school library. A Plethora of Programs, Innovative and Engaging
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World Read Aloud Day Registration and Activity Pack

Every year World Read Aloud Day calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. World Read Aloud Day 2017 will be held on Thursday, February 16th. Find out more at by Clicking Here.

Evening Events Presented by Michelle Lindsey at FAME

This PowerPoint is full of Michelle Lindsey's ideas for hosting evening events in the media center. Her ideas include:
  • Spooky Story Time
  • Camp Out at the Book Fair
  • Bingo at the Book Fair
  • Building Better Readers
  • Ornament Extravaganza
  • Mystery in the Media Center
  • Poets Cafe


Use the I-pad App called Cat Cam or Dr. Seuss Camera with to create Seussies with students and staff during Read Across America Week. Print and display the pictures and then send them home with the students.

Send us your "Elfies!"

Celebrate with a library elf who spreads reading cheer by posing in selfies with staff and students. Invite students who have their own elf to snap an "Elfie" and send it to the media center or bring in a print. If you would like to learn more about the Elf that started the trend, read the book Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian. You can read the book on Epic too.

Celebrate What You are Learning!

Each month I highlight what we are learning in my newsletter. Below are examples of my posts and the information I share with students, teachers and parents related to lessons in the library.
-Hour of Code
- lessons in computer programming with Lightbot in celebration of Computer Science and Programming Week December 5-9. In addition there is a holiday coding and game site called Santa Tracker. The two coding games we learned are Code
Lab and Code a Snowflake.
-How to Read a Newspaper
and Accessing the St. Augustine Record
-Gingerbread Story Fun

  • The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray Author's website http://www.lauramurraybooks.com.
  • Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett Author's website http://www.janbrett.com/index.html.
  • The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers and The Ninjabread Man - Students will compare Gingerbread stories and compare characters and endings. In addition they will tour the media center with help from the Library Gingerbread Man and learn about magazines, the library search catalog computers and the computer lab.
-Florida Reading Association Book Award - 8 books read aloud to students in K-2. Students will evaluate the books and vote for their favorite in the spring. This month we will read Wild About Us. Evaluating Books...
  • Pictures - Do they appeal to you and do they make the story better?
  • Plot/Theme/Subject - Does the topic of the story make you think or teach a lesson? Do you and other children like the topic of the story?
  • Characters - Can you relate to the characters? Are the characters funny or appealing in some way?
  • Author/Illustrator - Does the author have a reputation for good books? Do you like other books by that author?
-World Book Online Encyclopedia - the username is palencia and the password is pirates. Students will learn how to access World Book and how to use this digital tool to research topics of interest and for school work.
-Media Center resources that can be accessed from the Pirate Cove Website (Media Center Website)
  • Destiny Library Catalog - Dewey Decimal System

"Library Celebrations & Reading Promotions" Throughout The Year!

Link to the Library Voice blog with a Google Doc that goes through the year highlighting various program ideas for each month. The document has links to monthly Pinterest boards and highlights activities you might want to celebrate. There is also room to add your own ideas and along with special events like new books or movies that only occur in a given year. This is a great resource to help you plan for the whole year.

ALA/AASL's Took Kit for School Library Media Programs

This publication presents messages, ideas and strategies for promoting the

value of school library media programs and library media specialists in the 21st century. CLICK HERE

Celebrate by Highlighting Ebooks!

I remind students and parents each month about our ebooks by providing links and cover images for seasonal books. Within MackinVia you can create groups of resources that are then displayed on the homepage so that students can easily fun a book for the season. Below is an example of my article and featured books for December.

PES students and families have access to 1700 e-books to read via MackinVIA. Some books are interactive, some can be used as a read aloud, while others are simply a standard book to be read online. Click the links below the book covers to read the e-books we have about Christmas. Username = Student # Password = pirates. Click the linked words for additional books about Christmas and Hanukkah.
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SSYRA Celebrations

  1. SSYRA Ice Cream Sunday Party - read 5 to get invited, each book after 5 is an additional topping
  2. Recipes for Reading - party with SSRYA books featuring food and activities
  3. Posters of Students - Readers are Leaders
  4. Battle of the Books - grade level, school wide, district wide
  5. SSYRA Literacy Fair - school/district wide competition
  6. Charming Rewards - Necklaces, Charms, Brag Tags and Certificates
  7. Get PTO to Feature the Books on their Facebook Page or other social media
  8. Have a Reveal Party at the start of the Year - invite teachers, give prizes and food
  9. E-books - indicate on a Bulletin Board, Newsletter or Display when the Ebook is available
  10. Book Talk Bookmark competition
  11. Skype with Authors of SSYRA Books
  12. Vote by Having County Supervisor of Elections come to the school
  13. Design a T-shirt each year as a reward

FAME's website with resources for SSYRA and SSYRA Jr. They have certificates that can be printed and other ideas for rewards.

A Complete Calendar of Hashtag Holidays for 2017

I just discovered one more fun way to add quirky celebrations to your media center. This is a link to Hashtag Holidays for 2017. This great resource is from Sprout Social and the blog post that explains how to use these fun events is written by Darryl Villacorta. So, from Doughnut Day to Selfie Day, there’s an occasion for just about anything. Ignored by traditional calendars these hashtag holidays are celebrated frequently on social media. Some are meant to generate awareness and promote a cause while others focus their attention on the cute, quirky and nonsensical. Don't miss this resource.

Palencia Elementary Media Center - The Pirate Cove

The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas, information and technology. Creating a foundation for lifelong learning is at the heart of our program, so that we are prepared to set sail into tomorrow’s world.