Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thanks, Author James Patterson!Riverside Middle School Media Specialist Gaelyn Jenkins wanted some innovative ways to get books into the hands of students. She wrote a grant for $6,000 to buy books for the media center, which was funded by author James Patterson and also allowed the school to earn 6,000 points from the Scholastic Book Club.

The Riverside Middle media center was reorganized last spring so that fiction books are now shelved by genre, with plans to eventually integrate non-fiction books. For example, a student interested in sports will find not only sports fiction in the sports section, but also books on how to play sports, sports teams, biographies of athletes, and poetry and short stories about sports. Students will still use the Dewey Decimal System to locate books within the genre sections.

The reorganization helps students expand their reading habits and discover the joys and merits of many kinds of texts, as well as gives the media specialist the ability to run reports by genre and see the most heavily used sections so funding can be targeted to meet the needs of students and staff. The ultimate goal is to make the books in the media center more accessible and to build literacy skills with literature and informational text.

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