Locust Valley teachers are thinking out of the box to make sure that students can experience creative lessons despite the limitations imposed because of coronavirus.
At Locust Valley Middle School, the second annual Book Café gave sixth graders a taste of a variety of genres, opening them up to reading books they previously might have left on the shelf. Going by the book with social distancing and sanitizing guidelines, the Book Café offered the same experiences as last year’s event, with just a few modifications.
Organized by middle school librarian Romy Bennett, teacher Emily Storck and teaching assistant Rachel Smith, the Book Café came to each sixth grade classroom. Students found a personalized paper bag on their desks containing four books, each written in a different genre, for the students to try. This diverse menu allowed readers to enjoy a book tasting, often discovering a new category they found palatable.
After reading a few pages of each book, these readers became writers, jotting down what they liked or disliked, if the book drew them in and if they wanted to read the entire book. They filled in the provided bookmarks with the names of the books they liked so that Ms. Bennett could get those books from the school library for them.
“While we could not transform the library into a café as we did last year, we found ways to make this experience special with personalized book bags and place settings at each desk,” Ms. Bennett said. “The true test of the book tasting’s success was the number of book requests I received at the end.”