Happiness is a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Ask any 5th grader at Ridgeview Elementary and this just might be their new mantra. “Starbooks” Book Club, a research-based reading program, implemented by language arts teachers Amber Bacon and Lori Jenkins, is the cause of all the stir among their students.
The program is open to all 5th grade students and takes place before school, after school and during their lunch periods. Students select quality, grade appropriate books and sign up to experience the text with a small group of their peers. Together, these groups read the book, discuss characters, explore plot development and delve into the author’s craft, all while enjoying a delicious cup of cocoa. The overall goal of this initiative is to promote a lifelong love of reading and combine collaborative learning with student-centered inquiry. All students have expressed enthusiasm for the program. One student said, “It is a perfect place to relax and enjoy a great book.” Another member of the “Starbooks” Book club stated, “It is helping me to become a stronger reader.” This is exactly the type of feedback these educators are looking for in assessing the program and planning for an exciting future.