Honors Reading/Library Committee

Revisions "B"

Welcome to the Honors Reading/Library committee.  This information is divided into two sections:

Library Committee

The portion of the committee was started two years ago.  The committee provides assistance to the St. Timothy's librarian by performing various tasks in the library, such as reshelving books after the students have returned them to the library.  It has been observed over the past two years that some of those that sign up as a volunteer only want to help with the Honors Reading Luncheon and are not interested in assisting in the Library.  It is expected that then percentage of volunteers falling into this category will vary from year to year.  After all of last year's volunteers were called at the beginning of the year, only about 4-5 were agreeable to be scheduled in the library on a semi-regular basis. 

The best time for volunteers to assist in the library is in the morning after drop-off.  Volunteer time is usually 30-60 minutes.  The length of a volunteer session is very dependent on the time each person has available.  Since St. Timothy's will have a new librarian for the next school year, the committee will need to confirm with him/her to determine how to best provide assistance.  The past school year presented greater challenges to the committee due to the move into the new building.  Committee members packed up the old library and reshelved as many books ad many books as space would allow in the new library.  At year end the remaining book shelves had not yet been delivered.  As a result, there are still several boxes that will have to be unpacked and shelved in the upcoming year.

Honors Reading

General Information
Third and fourth grade students are eligible to participate in the "Honors Reading Program" administered by the school librarian.  At the beginning of the year the librarian will distribute a list of acceptable books, along with all the requirements for completing the program.  In the past students have been required to read twenty-five books from the list and pass a very simple oral exam administered by the librarian after the student  has read the required number of books.  Successful students receive a t-shirt which can be worn in place of their uniform shirt every Friday. 

Honors Reading Luncheon
In May the friends committee hosts a luncheon for all the Honors Readers.  At the start of the school year parents will sign up to serve on this committee (Which committee??).  The committee helps contact the volunteers as soon as a date has been set for the luncheon.  This early contact allows the volunteers to add it to their calendars sufficiently in advance of the event.

Tracking Books Read
The third and fourth grade teachers are provided with charts and stickers to post in their rooms for the purpose of tracking the students progress.  The students themselves let both their teacher and the librarian know when books are completed.  As books are completed parents must sign off in the students' honors reading folder and then provide a final signature when all twenty-five books have been completed.

In past years Honors Reading T-shirts were ordered from Progressive Graphics, with the contact being Tom Ashby (919-233-1123).  However, starting in the 2004-2005 school year, St. Timothy's will begin using only one vendor to supply shirts for all of its activities and events.  The ordering of the shirts must be done at the beginning
of the school year by contacting Larry Hoxie and specifying the number of shirts to be ordered.  This year it might be fun to have a contest for the students to design the shirt.  Seventy-five shirts were ordered last year (25 fewer than in the past) and that led to a shortage of eleven.  More had to be ordered in April and two weeks were required for delivery.  At least 100 should be ordered for the 2005-2006 school year.

The Honors Reading Luncheon date should be scheduled in the school office with Elen Sadovy or Judy Todd at the beginning of the school year or the end of the previous school year.  The luncheon is usually held sometime during the first two weeks of May.  The students' year is beginning to wind down at that time and since the luncheon is held outside, weather at that time of the year has a good chance of being cooperative.  When selecting the luncheon date, care must be taken to insure that it does not conflict with the standardized testing week, or any other year-end activities.  During the luncheon, the attendance times for each grade have been chosen based upon their lunch and recess times.  This coming year the third grade will come from 11:30-12:15 and the fourth grade from 12:15-1:00 P.M.

The type of luncheon will be determined by the new committee members.  Chick-Filet has been chosen for that last two years.  The children no longer get Chick-Filet as part of their weekly lunch option and, as a result, seem to enjoy having at the luncheon.  In the past the order has been placed with the Falls of the Neusse Chick-Filet, but more recently with the North Hills Location.  It works out well because they deliver; the contact is Ashlee.  She is lovely and very reliable.  Again, the committee may choose other types of lunch.  In the past Taco Bell and "Cook-Out" have been chosen as well.

Advance Prep
Two weeks in advance of the luncheon:
Luncheon Supplies

From B. J.'s we purchased:
  1. Chips, one bag/child
  2. Paper plates and napkins
  3. Paper or plastic tablecloths
  4. A mix of juices (We served Sprite and water this year) and bottled water (The drinks are iced down and served from coolers).
  5. Cookie mix (chocolate chip seems to be most popular with the children).  It is significantly cheaper to buy the mix (either Nestle or Pillsbury) and make them as opposed to buying pre-made.  It actually did not take too long.  I was able to make enough for each child to receive at least two cookies.  Alternately, cookies can be ordered from Sams. 
  6. Freeze Pops - Qty sufficient for each child to receive 1-2 pops.
  7. Candy for a treat.    This year treat bags were filled with M&M minis, Skittles, & Ring Pops.
  8. Balloons, with which to decorate the area.
Luncheon Procedure

The third and fourth graders were served buffet style.  They got their food and then sat on the playground to eat.  The played when they were done.  It was decided not to attempt to organize any games or activities as this was a special time for them to just do as they wished.  Their whole day is typically structured and leaving this event relatively unstructured is a special treat.  The lack of structure has never caused any problems.

The Luncheon should require eight volunteers.  Setup and clean-up is very easy.  One person needs to go get the third graders and another gets the fourth.  I decided, in the interest of simplicity, to do all the pre-luncheon work myself.  It really isn't that much work and is easier to manage without involving others.  The volunteers, however, are necessary and helpful on the day of the luncheon.  However, this is up to the committee.

Even though this luncheon may not seem like a big deal, it is to the children.  Think about being nine or ten years old and for one day, while everyone else has to eat in the lunch room, you get fast-food on the playground!  There is nothing better than encouraging kids to read and to reward them is a pleasure.

Post Luncheon
Sometime after the luncheon, simply complete the reimbursement form, attach your receipts, and submit them to the treasurer.  The budget for this committee is a total of $1,000.00 for the T-Shirts and the luncheon.

I have enjoyed chairing this committee and will be happy to answer any questions you may have in the upcoming school years.

Yours truly,
Erin McCord