ETR's Book Swap and Ice Cream Social
Wednesday May 24th
In the spring of 2014, Mrs. Marie Koethe had an idea: let's get exciting new books into the hands of students just before the summer. The hope was to "increase the likelihood that they will read in the summer and decrease the loss that occurs," she explains, in those months when students are not in class.
And with that, the Book Swap was born.
The Book Swap and Ice Cream Social is now coordinated and implemented by a team of teachers working to get books to the students they serve within the community. Additional contacts and co-chairs are Nancy Recchilongo and Erica Polsky.
"Providing students with access to books during the summer months helps ensure that they are not only reading, but exposed to a variety of writing forms and vocabulary," notes Ms. Polsky, 7th grade teacher at ETR. The swap also helps address what is often referred to as "the summer slide;" research shows that the average student will lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected.
The swap allows the Springfield School District's school students to trade in the books they own for new texts and stories, keeping them engaged and reading through summer break. "According to the research, the most damage to reading skills occurs outside school-during the summer months," explains Mrs. Koethe, who is a Reading Specialist at the SLC. "We are trying to stop that trend by keeping books in the hands of our students. By having the book swap so close to the end of the school year, we hope that students will be excited about reading and that will carry over into the summer when school is out."
As noted by the New York State Education Department in "The Importance of Summer Reading: Public Library Summer Reading Programs and Learning:" "Evidence indicates that the amount of access which students have to reading materials is substantively related to the amount of reading they engage in. This is the most important determinant of reading achievement. Studies show that students' who read more, read better; they also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and have better control of complex grammar."
"More access to books results in more reading," continues Mrs. Koethe; "these are all the reasons why the Book Swap is so important to us, and the teachers at ETR and the SLC."
The book swap has continued to grow, bringing out over 600 participants last year alone; 2017 marks the fourth year for this incredible event.
ETR and SLC students and their siblings are eligible to participate. Doors open at 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 24th. Every participant receives a free book and ice cream. If you bring in books to ETR or the SLC drop sites, you will receive a ticket to take home the same number of books donated. If possible, drop books off prior to May 24th to allow sorting and display of the books. The book trade event ends at 8:00 but ice cream service is over at 7:45 pm.
For more information about the event and it's history, take a look at the video below!