Exploring Education at WIS
Reading Without Walls at the Primary School
Before school ended in June, our Primary School students and faculty were issued a challenge from the Primary School librarians: to expand their reading horizons by participating in the Reading Without Walls program over the summer. The program called for participants to read:
A book about a character who doesn’t look or live like them.
A book about a topic they don’t know much about.
A book in a format that they don’t normally read for fun (picture book; graphic novel; chapter book; book in verse; audio book).
An initiative started by the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, Reading Without Walls “promotes diversity and opens readers’ eyes to new ideas and experiences. In this divided time in our nation’s history, Reading Without Walls is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others—and to learn new and exciting things.”
Another part of the challenge was for participants to post photos of themselves reading on the WIS Padlet, which helped create more community around the program. Students (and teachers!) really immersed themselves in the challenge—almost 100 photos were posted to the Padlet over the course of the summer! The variety of books being read was also impressive; one student read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; another read a book written in Italian in 1919. Students read in books Spanish, French, and English, by authors from all over the world. Many of these photos have been posted on the bulletin board outside the library.
As a reward for their participation, any student who posted to the Padlet and/or completed the summer reading packet by the end of first week of school was in for a special treat: a free book! Over 50 students gathered in the Primary School library near the end of the day last week for their celebration. Primary School Librarian Sue Anderson and her team had multiple baskets of books for these eager readers. They were also given a certificate, in addition to stickers and bookmarks to use with their new books.
One of the best parts of this program? Students had no idea they would be rewarded for participating—they did it because they genuinely enjoy reading!
Choose groups to clone to: