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  1. READING CHALLENGE: STUDENTS READING FOR FUN! Solana Beach /Earl Warren Middle School Shared Use Library Today a reader, tomorrow a leader ~ W. Fusselman ~

  2. The Women Who Make it Happen Patricia TironaYouth Librarian Vanessa Dorosewicz Pius Teen Technical Advisor/MIRACLES worker

  3. Library serves Earl Warren Middle School with 600+ 7th and 8th graders • Serves bedroom community of San Diego as branch of San Diego County Library system, one of 33 branches • High level of literacy at the school • 95% of students are English proficient • 91% of parents have some college • 80% of parents have degrees • 9% of families qualify as low income

  4. Earl Warren Middle School/Solana Beach Library What a school thinks about its library is a measureof what it feels about education.~ Harold Howe ~Professor Emeritus at the Harvard Graduate School of Educationand a former U.S. Commissioner of Education

  5. Some Benefits of Shared Use • Extended library hours offer more accessibility to library resources than a school media center (SMC) • Community members benefit since library opens at 7:30 a.m. weekdays when school in session • Students benefit from later hours after school & Saturdays • Location on school grounds makes for easy access to materials for students & faculty • Library Tours, web literacy & bibliographic instruction integral part of curriculum • Library becomes second home for many students at lunch & after school

  6. ADVANTAGES • Encourages partnerships with teachers • Exposure of student body to public library’s print & online resources • Selection of recreational materials more comprehensive than SMC • Wider variety of electronic resources/databases than SMC • Captive audience • By end of first month of school, every student visited library at least once for Library Tour • Students involved in library/programs at lunch & after school

  7.                                                                                                                                                <> DISADVANTAGES • Community patrons may find student presence disruptive during high usage periods (lunch and after school) • In reality, community is overwhelmingly supportive of sharing the space with students • Parking & traffic congested before & after school. • Patrons learn to adjust schedule

  8. MISSION • My objective was to make the library a welcoming place to students & teachers • Programs draw students in every afternoon, with snacks • Promote partnerships between teachers & library • My goal was to assist in improving achievement levels of Middle School • Reading Challenge • Bibliographic & web literacy instruction

  9. ReadingChallenge • Reading Challenge – a collaborative program that encourages recreational reading each semester for the entire student body • Partnered with English Department • Rewards students who have read at least 1000 pages per semester for leisure • Attend a movie party during their English period at end of each semester • Movie selected from books read during the semester • Special refreshments served, i.e.. Donuts, candy, and water 1st period, popcorn, candy & water for rest

  10. RC PROGRAM • Results updated on whiteboard in library • Different award scenarios each semester • First semester all students who read over 1000 pages came to the party • Second and third semesters, in addition, the top ten readers won gift certificates • Last semester all readers who read over 10,000 pages won a gift certificate

  11. SUCCESS FACTOR : School • Support of English Department & School Administration - mandatory • Their consent was required for library to host students during a class period at the end of the semester • English teachers marketed activities – class visits & book discussions in library, posted flyers, logs, & deadline reminders • School Administration posted regular notices on the school’s e-blast

  12. SUCCESS FACTOR : Students • Students were involved in the administration of the program. • Initially I directed RC, then Vanessa, & by 4th semester team with two interns & volunteers • The team took it up a notch • They challenged student community to friendly competition between individual students & English classes for # of pages read • They inspired peers through word of mouth, posters, flyers, & results board displayed in the library

  13. SUCCESS FACTOR : Simple Design • Reading not seen as work • Reading became accepted behavior • Students have a choice of titles and formats • Books were peer reviewed • Incentives were designed for their tastes

  14. SUCCESS FACTOR :Community Involvement • Community partners provided prizes & refreshments • PTSA, Del Mar/Solana Beach Optimist Club (, Library Friends • Partners delighted to contribute to a great project • Students see that the community cares • Since funding was spread over these resources, financial impact was minimal for the library


  16. ASSESSMENT • Earl Warren continues to improve its academic performance since the Reading Challenge began • Academic Performance Index (API) 2007-2008 increased 21 points from the year before, to 924, the highest ever API • More students scored in top proficiency band / fewer students scored in lower two proficiency bands, for the English/Language Arts discipline • Earl Warren awarded California Distinguished School May 2009 • Both the school & CDS review panel cited the shared use library partnership as a valuable & significant factor in the success of the school

  17. Helpful Hints • Involve the students, school & community • Provide books they want to read & talk to each other about • Challenge them with a contest & prizes (top ten get book store certificates) • Pick a good movie & have lots of snacks that they like!

  18. Conclusion • Reading Challenge can be adapted to many environments • Its formula works – a balance of: • economical yet entertaining activity (movie with snacks) • efficient marketing & promotion • collaborations that have a shared goal to encourage reading

  19. CONTACT INFORMATION If you would like more information about Reading Challenge OR Solana Beach Library/Earl Warren Middle School Shared Use Partnership, please contact Patricia Tirona at

  20. REFERENCES • San Dieguito Union High School District. (2008). School Accountability Report Card. San Francisco, CA: School Wise Press. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from http://sarci_en_37-68346-6061998m.pdf • Richmond Public Schools. (2008). Reading Quotes. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from