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Libraries in Schools
School Book Treasury sees the end of the academic year.
March 29, 2013
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The School Book Treasury Annual Report

Bookworm supports reading resources in the community and in schools. The School Book Treasury is a program that has been setting up classroom libraries and is now in its 5th year. The main focus is to provide age and reading-level appropriate material, in the form of fiction and non-fiction books to children and schools that are tightly resourced.

The School Book Treasury is financially supported by funds collected by its annual Jumble Sale. In addition, for the academic year 2012-2013, The School Book treasury’s first term has been supported by the fund raising activities conducted by The Book Treasury, Ontario.

The Treasury program includes lending of books through which classroom libraries are created. In addition to the minimum intervention program, weekly Intervention in select schools from the beginning of this academic year has been initiated. Both intervention programs include a story that is read aloud, followed by an extension activity that consists of a creative art or craft component, language application, vocabulary building activities and verbal interactive skill enhancement exercises.

For the academic year 2012-2013, the School Book Treasury has included an additional facet to the programme; this being the Intervention Schools.

The School Book Treasury

Bookworm provides boxes of books to mostly rural schools on a regular basis, where books to cover all ages are rotated on a monthly basis using Bookworm’s van.

The Book Treasury at the moment provides reading resources to 23 schools.

Sr. No.

School

Area

No. of Books

Status

1.

People’s High School

Panaji

50

Paid

2.

Lemon Tree Public School

Panaji

50

Paid

3.

Ananya Resource Room (St. Cruz High School)

St. Cruz

50

Paid

4.

St. Anthony’s High School

Guirim

50

Supported

5.

Lar St. Teresa

Mapusa

25

Supported

6.

St. Thomas High School

Aldona

150

Supported

7.

Vasant Vidhyalaya

Siolim

150

Supported

9.

Our Lady of Rosary High School

Mandrem

300

Supported

10.

St. Elizabeth’s High School

Pomburpa

100

Supported

11.

Pilar Central High School

Pilar

200

Supported

12.

Mae dos Pobres

Margao

100

Supported

13.

Les Anges

Margao

50

Paid

14.

Little’s

Margao

100

Paid

15.

Saxtii Kids

Margao

100

Paid

16.

Regina Mundi

Vasco

100

Supported

17.

Gurukool Academy

Ponda

150

Paid

18.

Dayanand High School

Chorao

100

Part Supported

19.

Government Primary School

Paetona

25

Paid

20.

Ardee School

Sangolda

50

Paid

21

Lourdes Convent

Saligao

50

Supported

22

Sharon English

Mumbai

50

Paid

23

St. Joseph’s High School

Calangute

150

Paid

 

Total no. of books circulated monthly: 2,150

The books provided to these schools, are selected based upon the individual reading levels of the classrooms and schools. Also, taken into consideration is the specific requests made by the concerned authorities.

It is recommended that schools and teachers be actively involved in the book selection process as they are able to provide a more accurate assessment of the students reading needs, and thus Bookworm provides and important resource to aid the teaching of English.

At the end of the academic year, a feedback was done regarding the functionality of the programme. The observations from this process included:

With regards to choice of the books, schools were satisfied with the books. However, certain schools made specific requests about the nature of books that would more suit the demography of students that the books are given out to. These requests included “more picture books”, “books with the picture and just one word”, requests for specific titles, etc. It is noted that the feedback given by the librarians states that though these schools have collections of books, they are not found to be of the same nature of the Bookworm provided books which are found to be better illustrated, having stories that the children are more interested in and a far wider range; overall appealing more to the students.

With regards, to the delivery of the books, though the flexibility of the delivery is not seen as an issue, it has been commented upon by a school; and this is in agreement with the Bookworm team; that it would be ideal that all deliveries happen on an appointed date that is fixed for the month. This would greatly enhance the efficiency of the delivery schedule.

It has been noted that the schools have stated that children enjoy reading and look forward to the library period during which they are given access to the books. With regard to the schools that do not allow their children to take the books home, the overarching concern is loss or mistreatment of the books. The schools that do allow their children to take the books home do so and maintain a record the child’s name, the name of the book and the Bookworm accession number; these books are returned and exchanged at weekly intervals. The teachers in charge of this library system in the respective schools have innovated their own methods of following up on whether the children have read these books; these include requesting a recap of the story from the child in English and even in Konkani or a recitation before the class, requesting the child to make a record of the book read in the diary.

Overall, it is in agreement that reading books has been observed to enhance language skills, increase information, provide exposure, and develop interest in children about a vast array of topics. Also noted, is the vocabulary enhancement and interaction that occurs when a child is confronted with an unfamiliar word. The teachers in these schools are immensely happy with the programme, but in regard to carrying forth the programme in the following year, queries do arise within the management regarding funding.

The Minimum Intervention Schools:

Bookworm conducts a minimum intervention program where in a story along with an extension activity is conducted in select schools, as per the request of the school.

Name of School

Grades

Frequency of Session

Number of students

1

Vasant Vidhalaya

1-4

Each class, once in 4 months

140

2

Mae dos Pobres

3-4

Each class bi-monthly

80

3

St. Joseph’s High School

5-7

Each class, once in 3 months

150

Total no. of students:

370

Feedback gained from these schools indicates that the students are enthusiastic and look forward to the session. It is, from Bookworm’s point of view; insufficient and of little effect to have sessions at such great intervals.

 The Intervention Schools:

Bookworm is conducting an intensive intervention program in 5 Grade 3 classes in 3 schools in the Taleigao area.

This intervention program includes a weekly story session with extension activities that are aimed at enhancing literacy and a child’s reading experience. The schools that are part of this intervention program are:

Name of School

Frequency of Session

Nature of school

Number of students

No. of Sessions for the year

No. of Teacher Interactions

1

Auxilium High School (2 divisions)

2 classes bi-weekly

Private low cost school

90

11 per division

22

2

Ideal High School      (2 divisions)

2 classes weekly

Private low cost school

64

16 per division

32

3

Government Primary School, Taleigao

1 multi grade class weekly

Government run school

36

14

14

Totals:

190

41

68

At this point, the Intervention program encounters children with varying levels of ability in the English language. Several children in these classrooms are first generation learners. In addition, a considerable part of the demography uses regional languages as the first language.

The Intervention program has been well accepted by the school authorities. The feedback from the heads of these institutions has been positive and favourable; and in all cases, Bookworm has been requested to extend the program to more grades.

In terms of teachers of these classes, they are also in favour of the program and have feedback gained from them indicates that they have observed a marked improvement in the children’s communicative and participation skills. Furthermore, they have noticed the value behind the format of Bookworm’s lesson plan; which entails the reading of a book followed by an extension activity based on the content of the book; that is carried out through an art or craft medium. Teachers in 1 school have stated that they have attempted to use features of the Bookworm lesson plan in their own classrooms.

Of the 3 Intervention schools, a request to continue the programme in the following year is duly noted. From the organization’s point of view, this would be a valid investment; with provisions that the schools aim to set a dedicated period for the Bookworm sessions; this including that the duration of 1 period be increased to accommodate the lesson plan at its optimum level. This would be of great importance as the duration of a period; approximately 20-35 mins; is insufficient and through the course of the year, a subsequent difficulty arises with having to rush students to complete their extension activities in a rush or having to cut down on the amount of time spent exploring a story.

Furthermore, the added facility of enabling Bookworm to set up classroom libraries with regular lending features and a stipulated time that children are allowed to spend exploring books.

It has been noted that working within the rigid framework of a school and the constraints of completing syllabi as well as the co and extracurricular activities that occur in the course of the academic calendar make posing these requests seem unreasonable. However, the Bookworm team has no doubt in the pedagogic value of this programme and the impact it will have on reading, writing and communicating skills of the students engaged in it.

Conclusion:

As indicated in the report, the School Book Treasury programme has expanded its reach and the mediums through which it works with the schools. While it has been found that merit lies in certain aspects of the programme, it is to be noted that for factors including finance, impact indicators and intensity, alterations are required to improve the impact of the programme in ways that are beneficial to the students, while keeping with the aimed intensity and aims stated by the programme.

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