Students getting more literacy support through classroom libraries

East Wiltshire Intermediate students enjoy classroom book clubs using books from their new classroom library while Minister Trivers, teacher Ashlley Bell and secondary literacy coordinator Kendra MacLaren look on.

New classroom libraries are giving Island students more opportunity to develop their literacy and critical thinking skills.

Research shows that the more contact children have with books and the more time they spend reading, the better readers they will become. Once the Grade 7 libraries are all set up this month, all grades 7 to 12 students will have daily access to high quality literature in their classrooms.

“Access to books is one of the most powerful indicators of a child’s ability to read and love reading. By giving all students at-the-elbow access to a variety of good books on a daily basis, we are helping them develop as readers, writers and lifelong learners.”

- Education and Lifelong Learning Minister Brad Trivers

New language arts curriculum focuses on 50 percent independent reading, 25 percent book club and 25 percent core text. The classroom libraries allow students to choose from hundreds of carefully selected titles which support the curriculum outcomes they are expected to achieve at their grade level. 

The books are chosen by teachers, librarians and education partners such as Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI and the Human Rights Commission. Students are also involved in the evaluation and selection process. The classroom collections include a range of reading difficulty.

Teachers have been trained on how to use the books to support the curriculum and to help students develop a love of reading. The books are used to support themes they are exploring in class. Book clubs allow students to discuss a book with their peers and deepen their understanding of what they are reading. Book Talks enable students to present a summary of a book and based on their recommendations, students keep wish lists of which books or authors they will read next. 

Classroom libraries differ from school libraries in that they focus on the curriculum and what students are learning at their grade level. Librarians and teachers work together to help children become lifelong learners. Many librarians report that use of the school library has increased as a result of the reading enjoyment students are gaining in the classroom.

The intermediate and high school classroom libraries have been installed and refreshed over the past few years in English and French schools through an investment of $1.2 million.

Media contact:
Jean Doherty    
Department of education and Lifelong Learning
902 314 5702

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