Smith Elementary School staff endeavored to instill a love of new reading material in their students last week.
The school participated in a book swap Tuesday, Dec. 18. All students participated in the event by either bringing books from home, taking books home or browsing the available books.
Principal Rochelle Thompson said most students left with two to three new books, and some took home up to 10.
Alyson Baker, reading recovery teacher, and Barb Keister, literacy coach, read about the idea of a book swap from a literacy expert who tried it at his own school.
Thompson said she wanted students to build community by giving books, learn about each other as readers and leave for winter break armed with new books to read.
"Everyone went home with books -- all our students, kindergarten to fourth grade," she said.
Thompson said the literacy teachers found a book swap could help to extend the students' reading community beyond just school.
"We want our students to continue to be excited about new reading material," she said. "We want them to enjoy new books."
Thompson said adults often set aside time during holidays, weekends and vacations to read new books, and school leaders wanted to share that passion with students.
"We want them to look forward to their new reading material and have a special time to do that," she said.
Thompson said she overheard students having great conversations about their book choices during the swap.
"The students loved the different book choices and were eager to share with fellow students about why they chose the books they chose," she said.
Thompson said she believes Smith is the first elementary school in Delaware to attempt a schoolwide book swap, and added it was a successful attempt.
"There was a lot of excitement during this and so we are already planning on doing another one in the spring," she said.