Tuesday, March 20, 2018

MCBA by the Numbers

One of my goals this year has been to keep older elementary kids interested in reading. The Massachusetts Children's Book Award was instituted for this same reason, so I thought it was an easy enough way to try to achieve my goal. The premise of the program is simple: from a list of 20+ books, 4th-6th grade students read at least 5 of them, and then they get to vote on their favorite. Votes are tallied from around the state, and each participating library gets a certificate with the winning book.

We had our voting party this week, and Roller Girl was the Loker favorite - we'll have to wait a few more weeks to see what the rest of the state thought! A quick shot of our voting party spread and prize for participating:

With it being the first year, I wasn't sure what to expect, but overall, I think interest was high enough to do it again next year.

  • The 25 titles that were on the list this year circulated 135 times from mid-October to mid-March 
  • 22 out of 97 4th and 5th graders read at least one book as part of the contest 
  • 12 students read at least 5 and were eligible to vote 
  • Most books read was 17 by one eager 5th grader

As there is always room for improvement, my initial ideas to boost participation next year:
  • Have the books ordered over the summer, so that readers have an extra month to participate
  • Host a monthly book club to discuss a different book 
  • Hopefully, enjoy a little word-of-mouth, where this year's 4th graders spread the word to their classmates!

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