RMS students explore books through speed dating activity
Published 10:09 am Tuesday, February 9, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— In the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, the students at Riverchase Middle School participated in a Speed Book Dating activity throughout the week before Feb. 14.
The point of Speed Book Dating, according to librarian Kathy Collins, is to get the students engaged in different genres.
“When they come in, there are just a massive amount of books in there,” she said. “When they are laid out flat and you basically force them to spend time examining a book, it gives them an opportunity, that they won’t take themselves, to explore something a little bit more.”
Collins set up six different stations with dozens of books on each table. The genres were: Fantasy, non-fiction, realistic fiction, adventure, humor and mystery.
After choosing a book, the students had two minutes to examine it closely and give it a try. Then they rated the book. Collins said more often than not, the students find something they’d like to spend more time with.
“The kids who are typical readers, they enjoy this just because it is something different,” she explained. “I think I’m really shooting for my border-liners, my nonreaders to try and get them hooked on something. Sometimes all it takes is that one book to make a lifelong reader.”
Drew Wyatt, a seventh-grader, said he liked learning more about different kinds of books. What really caught his attention were the biographies.
“I really didn’t think that I was going to like biographies, but I found one about World War II, which my great grandfather fought in,” he said.
At the end of the activity, Collins had the kids rate their experience and asked if they found a book they would like to spend more time with. She said just about all the kids found a book to check out.
Seventh grade teacher Joe Kervin said his students seemed to enjoy the experience because it was a more engaging visit to the library. It also gave students a chance to approach books they hadn’t thought about before.
“A lot of times, kids will focus on one kind of book and never bother to explore any other tastes,” he said. “This is a great way for them to discover that they like something else that they didn’t think they would like the best.”
For Collins, she said the speed book dating is all about connecting students to books. She said her favorite part is watching them have fun with it.
“If I feel like I have connected one kid to make a life long reader, mission accomplished,” she said.