Scholastic Book Fairs recently announced that it expanded its collaboration with My Very Own Library to provide free books to even more students during the school year (50,000 students to be exact!). On December 11, Oliver St. School in Newark, NJ kicked off the My Very Own Library program year with a literacy-filled pep rally and day of reading.
Younger students cheered their older classmates on as they marched through the halls in team colors – each led by a special guest author – to assemble in the school’s gymnasium. Newark Public Schools Superintendent Roger Leon opened the pep rally and teachers from each of the six teams introduced one “champion reader.” The champion readers took turns introducing their teams and highlighting their favorite books before inviting their team authors to share words of encouragement with the student body. Gale Galligan, Natasha Tarpley, Eric Luper, Daphne Benedis-Grab, Marisa Polansky and Stephen Savage all spoke to the students about how they became writers and why reading is so important. Senator Cory Booker, who helped to co-found MVOL when he served as Mayor of Newark, joined the pep rally via a special video message to congratulate Oliver St. School and applaud Newark for its long-standing relationship with MVOL.
After each team had the opportunity to present, the curtain of the gymnasium stage opened to reveal the Scholastic Book Fair with special guests Clifford the Big Red Dog and Geronimo Stilton. As part of the MVOL program, all Oliver St. students were able to choose three free books to start the program year! By the end of the school year, students will have chosen a total of 10 free books from Scholastic Book Fairs to build their home libraries.
The day of literacy at Oliver St. School ended with individual read alouds between students, and the authors visited other Newark Public Schools throughout the day for special workshops to continue the MVOL celebrations.