I Love to Read Day was usually held during the month of February at the Ray School. In the beginning, it was held on Valentine’s Day, when the classroom schedules were a bit disrupted anyway. Many different kinds of reading were scheduled throughout the school and the school day.
From the start USSR – universal silent sustained reading – was a goal of this special day. This is a time when everyone in the school – students, teachers and staff alike stop EVERYTHING to read. Students took their book/books to PE, Art or Music.
Another scheduled activity of the day was “Special Readers,” when a special reader would appear in each classroom and read a particular book or story to the all the students in that class for about 45 minutes. Special Readers often included the Ray School principal, the school nurse, the art teacher. A kindergarten teacher might read to a second or third grade classroom or a fifth grade teacher might read to a kindergarten group. School secretaries, volunteers, or other school helpers were also scheduled as special readers.
On I Love to Read Day up to six rocking chairs were placed in the lobby or the hallways of the school with a pile of books on a small table beside each chair. A chart with a daily schedule (8:30am to 2:30pm) was placed by each chair and students/teachers/staff were encouraged to sign up for 30 minutes to Rock ‘n’ Read at anytime during the school day.
Another scheduled hour during I Love to Read Day started an activity that often continued throughout the rest of the school year. It was called BOOK BUDDIES. This was when an older class and a younger class would team up. Each individual child would take a book/story to read aloud to another student. The older students reading to younger ones, and then the younger student reading to the older one (sometimes with a bit of help!)
Many classrooms developed their own I Love to Read Day activities. This special day was often referred to by participants as the most relaxing and fun day of the whole school year!!!!
Jean Keene, Retired Librarian