MISSOULA - Helping young students to learn to read and enjoy reading is no small feat — but one librarian at Franklin Elementary School in Missoula aims to make her library shelves one for the books.
This week's One Class at a Time winner is Alison Boone, the librarian at Franklin Elementary where she makes the magic happen for a local competition called the Battle of the Books.
“They work in teams and they have a coach, which is either a parent or a teacher, who meets with them and helps them study those books," explained Boone. "And it’s completely voluntary. It’s above and beyond the work they’re doing in class.”
There are over 30 teams of young students to represent Franklin Elementary from grades three through five, which is 60% of the total student population in those grades.
With such a high number of students participating in this learning competition, Boone struggles to keep books on the shelves, despite her best efforts. She claims though, that "its a delightful dilemma."
“I have several copies of every title and yet I’m often without them when kids need them, so this money will allow us to get a few more copies, which is such a gift to our students," Boone shared.
She hopes that more books on the shelves will open up more opportunities for students to discover new places, new ideas, new opportunities — and even to see themselves as a reader.
“I work really hard to create a collection in the library where every student can see themselves in the books that are on these shelves and I often tell them, 'it’s not that you’re not a reader, it’s just that we haven’t found the right book yet,'" Boone explained. "My job is to help connect you to a book that’s going to help you feel that way.”
Although Boone doesn’t teach a particular subject or have an ordinary classroom, she is helping her students find their own fairytale one book at a time.