Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from MSTA Member and Reading Circle Committee member, Jenn Baldwin, a K-12 Librarian in Jasper R-5.

Since 2011, the second Friday in March has been designated as Missouri School Read-In Day thanks to MO House Bill 795 that was sponsored by Representative Mike Kelley from the 127th district.

March 11 is quickly approaching and the Reading Circle committee wants to help you plan and carry out your school-wide and/or classroom activities. Committee chair Brenda Steffens shared several ideas in her last blog post. Also, fellow committee member Lysha Thompson shared even more ideas in the latest edition of the “School and Community,” which you can read here. Don’t forget about the numerous FREE resources, including posters and stickers, available from the Reading Circle website.

A few years ago, Jasper R-5 Elementary School completed a school-wide challenge that kept track of every book that our approximately 250 students read. Each book equated a square mile travelled. Our year-long goal was to read enough books to completely travel our great state. Each quarter, we celebrated the region of the state we were in with a school-wide celebration. For instance, we celebrated with ice cream cones when we were near St. Louis (in honor of the 1904 World’s Fair) and had a school-wide bbq with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs prepared by our building principal when we arrived in Kansas City. Classroom teachers submitted their weekly reading totals and a library bulletin board kept track of our school-wide travels. A Missouri trivia question was provided during the morning announcements each week and students used their research skills to learn many lesser-known facts about our state.

A modified reading challenge similar to the one described could be completed in as little time as a school/class would like (perhaps, just focusing on your town, county, or region). What a great way to highlight Missouri during your Missouri School Read-In Day activities!

Finally, did you know Reading Circle has joined Facebook? Book talks, literary quotes, and various reading blogs will be posted on a regular basis. This will be a perfect place for you to share the activities you have planned for March 11, 2016. Give us a like today!