Fort Mill Times

Joy of reading stressed for 'Library Week'

Indian Land High School students could earn prizes for thumbing through their favorite novels during lunchtime in the cafeteria or browsing a newspaper's Web site during study hall.

National Library Week, April 14-18, will be filled with reading-themed events, according to Indian Land High School Librarian Elizabeth Ashley, and plenty of opportunities to win prizes.

"Join the Circle of Knowledge" is the theme of National Library Week, Ashley said, and students who are "caught" reading around the school will have their picture taken and posted on a Tree of Knowledge display at the school. Small prizes will be handed out to every student caught reading, and they will be entered into a daily drawing for a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble and a weekly drawing for a $20 gift card.

"Hopefully we'll run out of prizes," Ashley said. "If we could get everybody in the student body [to read], I'd be happy."

During the week, students will be given time for silent reading as part of their first class of the day. The class that has the most students participating will be rewarded at the end of the week, Ashley said, most likely with a pizza or ice cream party. Classes will also collect "Nickels for Novels," with the class raising the most money receiving a party, she added.

This is the first year that Indian Land has participated in National Library Week.

"It encourages reading and gets the word out that it isn't uncool to read," Ashley said. "Reading is in. We have a lot of readers and it's a big cross-section of students."

Parents are also encouraged to participate. On April 14, during parent-teacher conferences, the school library will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Family Read Night. Parents and students can bring books to read, or browse the shelves for a new book.

High school students read a lot of Web logs and text messages, Ashley said. Reading in any form is good, she added, but it's helpful for students to get into the habit of reading a newspaper or a novel and seeing proper grammar.

"We want them to read those things to, but they need to get into the joy of a novel and letting it take you somewhere," Ashley said. "And learning something new with nonfiction."