South Orangetown Central School District

William O. Schaefer Elementary School Library teacher Celine Zatarga is launching a series of book clubs to provide high-level readers with opportunities to explore challenging texts together during their school day.

“As a building, we are looking closely at the support and opportunities we provide for our students during the school day,” Principal Sheila Beglin explained. “Book clubs allow our high-level readers to engage with peers from other classes in rich conversations about characters, problems, solutions and the author’s purpose and to push their thinking to higher levels.”

Each book club is composed of first and/or second graders who are reading above grade level, based on assessment data. Approximately 65 students–including both first and second graders–have been invited to participate this trimester. Kindergarten book clubs are slated to begin midyear.

“The goal is to continue to enrich our students’ experiences and to supplement the independent reading and differentiated reading groups that take place in the classrooms,” noted Zatarga, who worked with K-5 Literacy Coach Kristy Nadler to plan book clubs using Teachers College resources.

At a recent kickoff meeting, members shared what they hoped to gain by participating in book clubs. At the top of their list? Getting to “know more about reading” and read “longer” and “harder” books.

WOS library teacher and students writing