Frequent reading is a necessary component of becoming a good reader. Students who participate in recreational reading at home score higher in both reading and math. Frequent reading is also associated with increased fluency, vocabulary and comprehension (PDF).
A book club can be a great way to engage students in reading outside the classroom. A student book club not only encourages learners to read more, it can inspire them to choose titles they may otherwise overlook, connect them with other readers and even help build public speaking skills. For more on promoting a book club at your school, keep reading. We explore several strategies, plus some ideas for promotional products for students to increase participation.
State your mission
Before introducing your book club, start by defining its purpose. Are you looking to launch a school-wide club to engage students of all ages and abilities? Encourage not-so-avid readers to enjoy a bestseller? Or start an after-school club for enthusiastic bookworms? Talk to fellow teachers and students to find out what piques their interest.
Choose a book
Your book choice will depend largely on your readers’ ability. If you read a book as an entire school, you may want to choose from a list of age-appropriate bestsellers. A smaller group may want to vote on their book choice.
Pick a discussion method
An important aspect of a book club is shared discussion. Will you talk about what you’re reading in class? At an after-school group in the library? Or via an online forum? Regardless of how you will discuss your book, be sure to do it frequently to hold interest.
Promote your book club
Now that you know what you’re going to read, when, where and why, you can start promoting your book club. If you’re reading your book as a school, invite students and parents to a launch party to drum up excitement. Choose book-themed accompaniments—such as snacks, music, art projects and more—to get students eager to start reading. Provide each family a copy of the book they’ll be reading, plus some promotional products for student Book totes and promotional bookmarks are great choices. Generate buzz among smaller groups with a book club kick-off meeting. Start with refreshments and an ice breaker: Ask each participant what they last read or have them act out their favorite book title. Provide members with a journal set to make notes for group discussion.
Enhance readers’ eagerness to participate by making book talks fun and engaging. Have some intriguing questions ready, and don’t forget the school giveaways to reward participation. A book-shaped pencil or keychain is a fun prize for students who contribute to classroom discussion. Or, reward students who do their daily reading with a raffle for a school giveaway, such as a book light or magnetic bookmarks.
Book clubs can be a great way to get students excited about reading. Set the stage for fun with these helpful tips, and choose fun promotional products for students to keep them coming back. Happy reading!