Books Everywhere at Eastway Elementary

By Rachel Stine, partnerships manager

I recently visited the amazing Eastway Elementary School to meet with their fearless leader, Ms. Shayla Holeman.  As I was waiting for the meeting, I had a chance to sit down next to two students who were also waiting in the office.  And what were they doing you might ask?  They were reading.  Because at Eastway, books are everywhere.

I sat down and asked the girls if they wanted me to read to them.  “Yes,” they both said at once and handed me a book on weather.  I started reading this informational text which led to conversations about lightning and tornadoes and even…..volcanoes.  And then it was time for my meeting.

Eastway HolemanOne of the first things Ms. Holeman told me during our time together was that Books on Break is part of Eastway’s Strategic plan.  “We are focused on academic achievement at Eastway and one way to encourage success is to make reading fun and to increase the love of reading for all students,” she told me.  Providing books for children to select ten books to read over the summer fits perfectly with this vision.

Bookcases are set up in the cafeteria along with book bins so that when students are finished eating, they can read.  Books are in bins in the office, so while students are waiting, they can read.  In classrooms, bins of books are on tables.  Children read books on their instructional level and books they choose for themselves.  Children have the opportunity to take literacy kits home to read with their families.

eastway boxesWhy is the school set up this way? “We want to model at school what home should be like, with books in all parts of the school –  just as books should be in all rooms of the house,” Ms. Holeman told me.

Coming June 3…Books on Break 2016 at Eastway Elementary.  All 615 Eastway students will have the opportunity to select ten books to read for the summer and to take home to put in their living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchen.  We are excited to partner with Eastway to help make the vision of “Books Everywhere” a reality.