Every year, there are a few students who adopt the library. They come down whenever they can, to check out books, or just to escape from their classroom or their peers. Usually, our frequent flyers are also our top readers. But this year, one of our 7th grade special ed classes has homeroom in the library, and a group of students from that class have adopted the library – and especially connected with my assistant.
One of those students is a girl (we’ll call her K) who struggles with school. She has a hard time reading, she doesn’t understand or pick up on complex concepts very well, and she frequently gets into personality clashes with her teachers. But she’s been coming to the library every day, stopping by at lunch, and when her teachers let her, bringing her work down with her. And little by little, she’s becoming a better student. She’s making more of an effort to do her classwork, and she’s not shutting down nearly as often.
The biggest difference, though, is her attitude about reading. Earlier this year, she would tell us that she hates to read, and that she’d never read a book. But my assistant somehow found a book that connected for her (Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica) and convinced her to give it a try. She read it, begrudgingly at first, and then moved on to another Mike Lupica book, and another. And today she was in the library, browsing through some of our books, and she turned to me, holding up a copy of Hummingbird Heart, and said, “This book looks pretty good. I’ll have to remember it for next year.”
And it made my day.