JOI Reading Month

Reading should be fun! Many students get so wrapped up in reading for school that they forget to take time to read just because they enjoy it. Clubs can designate a month to promote reading for fun to the students in their schools.

Suggested Supplies
Bookmarks, promotional posters, goal sheets, T-shirts (for Members), banner to present to school library for participation in the program

JOI Reading Month Timeline
After your JOI Club picks a good month to promote reading, here’s a timeline to follow to make sure your Reading Month is a real page turner!

Two Months Before
Get the Go-ahead – The JOI Adviser should discuss the program with school administrators and talk with teachers to make sure they know their responsibilities.

Develop Awards – Consider an award for the grade level that reads the most and/or an award for the class in each grade level that reads the most. Look at your Club’s budget and see what you can give as an award! Remember that even a small budget can go a long way when you combine it with some friendly competition between classes.

Do the Prep Work – Go over the supplies you will need for the program and make sure you have all of the materials. Create presentations to make to classrooms. Reading is fun – your presentation should be fun, too! Members can brainstorm a list of interesting “must-reads” to help students who don’t read much. What will be on your recommended reading list?

One Month Before
Promote! promote! Promote! – Members of should begin advertising Reading Month in school announcements. Make posters to hang in classrooms. Members of should visit every homeroom or first-hour class and promote the program.

The Survey Says … – Conduct a simple survey of students to find out how much they normally read and what kinds of books they read. For example: “Outside of classroom work, how many books have you read in the last 30 days?” What other good, easy questions should you ask? See what Members want to find out about classmates’ reading habits.

One Week Before
Make Some Goals – Look over the student survey and see what kinds of goals the school can strive for during Reading Month. Establish a goal that is challenging but reachable.

News Flash – Contact the local media about the goal of the school to read XXX amount of books. Use numbers to draw the media’s attention! 100 kids read 4 books each … 400 books. 400 kids read 4 books each … 1,600 books. “Lincoln Elementary students pledge to read 1,600 books during Reading Month … .” Now that’s sure to attract some attention!

During Reading Month
Keep Tabs on Your Readers – Each class is responsible for reporting their readers’ progress each week. Each class can have a “goal thermometer” that ensures readers are reading. Make weekly announcements about who’s in the lead and by how much. See if you can get permission to have students talk about books in homeroom.

Fun Friday* – Each class can select a theme for books and dress up in the appropriate theme (sci-fi, pirates, etc.).
*The Adviser will need to get permission first!

Coffeehouse (an idea for older students)* – students can run a “coffeehouse” type of atmosphere on a certain day of the week. Get local/student bands or a DJ to come and play music as students are encouraged to attend and read there.
*This may require a lot of preparation and the Adviser will need to get permission first!

One Month After
The Results Are In – Members of make visits to participating classrooms to determine how many books were read. Figure out the winning grade level or classrooms and how many books the entire student body read during the month.

Awards – Present awards to the winners and make announcements about the program’s successes. Present a banner of participation to the school library.

So What Did You Think? – Conduct a closing survey to see what students thought about the program and whether it pushed them to read more books for fun. Members should brainstorm about which questions to ask. After the survey is done, share the results with school administrators and the local media. Show how this program has helped students read. Possible Results of Reading Month
  • Students choose to read for fun in their free time
  • Readers put school and public libraries to good use
  • Members of gain high visibility in schools
  • Program success can lead to sponsorship opportunities to fund the program in the future
  • Establish partnerships with organizations/libraries
Publicize Reading Month!
JOI has developed a series of news releases that Clubs can use in connection with their participation in the of Reading program. Below is a sample news release that Clubs can use to promote Reading Month. Please note that the .doc version enables Clubs to type their information into fields*, while the .pdf files are for viewing only.

Reading Month (.doc)
Reading Month (.pdf)
*If your Club wishes to use its own letterhead, you can remove the logo in the document by opening up the Word document, going to "View," then "Toolbars" and selecting "Forms." When the "Forms" toolbar appears, click on the padlock, then click on the logo and delete it. For those using Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Microsoft Office button in the upper left corner, go to "Word options" and then select the box next to "Show the Developer tab in the Ribbon" and click "OK." Above the document, click the "Developer" tab and then click on the "Protect Document" drop-down menu. Click on "Restrict Formatting and Editing." At the bottom of the new window to the right, click the "Stop Protection" button.