Read Across America 2012.
Our library, like many others across the country, celebrates Read Across America. According to the NEA Web site, Read Across America "is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss."
Libraries celebrate the event in all kinds of ways. Even our district's high school library celebrates. Instead of just one day, we stretch events over the first week in March. Activities include a themed spirit week, where each day coincides with a Dr. Seuss book. Tuesday is Cat in the Hat, and students are encouraged to wear stripes. Wednesday is Fox in Sox, and we're asking the kids to wear funky socks. Thursday is Hooray for Diffendoofer Day and we'd love everyone to show up in a mismatched outfit. Below is the bulletin board we created to promote spirit week. It pretty much just consists of stapling a bunch of clothes from the lost and found to the board, but it gets the job done.
We also tried something new this year and painted all the office windows with Dr. Seuss characters. I'm really hoping this isn't copyright infringement - it's only for a month, and then we're totally washing them off. What do you think? Is our window painting fair-use?
This endeavor involved more tech skill than artistic skill -- we used a document camera and a projector to shine the image on the glass. He had to put a piece of paper behind the glass so the projected image showed, and then traced it with a dry erase marker. After that, we just filled in the lines with washable paint.
On Wednesday and Thursday of the week, we host "guest readers" in the library. Adults sign-up ahead of time for twenty minute slots. They can bring their own picture books, or choose from a selection we provide. A perennial favorite is Walter the Farting Dog. This year, in addition to the adult readers, we have fifth graders coming over to read, and students from the high school coming down. Any kids in the library during study hall are also invited to jump in and read. Honestly, that's probably their favorite part - listening to their peers read and reading themselves.
We'll set up a camera over the shoulder of the reader and project the live image onto a TV or a big screen so everyone can see the book. We're also renting a popcorn machine -- it ties in with our healthy schools initiative and adds a another "special" element.