Grade 5 student turns the whole class into a book club
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – You could belong to a book club at your local library or follow a top celebrity’s book recommendations. But Oprah isn’t the only one with a book club. There’s a fifth grader in Plymouth who turned her whole class into readers.
“Basically all of my free time was spent reading and I found a lot of great shows out of it,” said Jane Gottschalk.
11-year-old Jane is a voracious reader. She can be spotted with a book at home, on vacation and of course at St. Michael’s School in Plymouth.
“Mystery, of course. Fancy. Anything that’s fiction, I love it all, ”Jane said.
Jane has a love for reading that she just can’t keep to herself.
“To this day, I love it. And I wanted everyone else to feel that too, ”said Jane.
So, just before spring break, Jane asked her teacher if she could start a book club using her books from home.
“It meant so much more to me when she said, ‘I have a book chosen for everyone.’ I said, “Everyone in the class?” She said, “Yeah. Even you Mrs. Kolter, ”said Mary Beth Kolter, grade 5 teacher at St. Michael’s. “So we went with it.”
Here’s how it works: Jane lends a book to each of her 17 classmates and changes it when they’re done.
This new idea is producing surprising results.
“I feel like not everyone was a reader at first, but now that everyone has a book they love, they just keep wanting to read it,” said Lainey Rader, student at 5th.
Even reluctant readers found themselves turning the pages.
“Before Jane started the book club, I usually didn’t read at all,” said Lucas Aquila, 5th.
Lucas is now addicted to the Virginia Mystery series; something Jane borrowed from her brother.
“I thought I wouldn’t read if I didn’t have to, but these books interest me so much that they made me want to read. And I thought I would never like to read before Jane, ”Lucas said.
Ms. Kolter expects to see improvements across the board in the year-end assessments. These kids don’t just read, they write book reports and hold in-depth discussions.
“I love listening to them talk to each other, saying ‘Omigosh, I really like this book, do you have another like this?’ It’s just the cutest thing to see, ”Ms. Kolter said.
May 27 is their last day of school and Ms. Kolter thinks they will continue reading all summer. This class devotes twenty minutes of free time to reading each day.
“I love those twenty minutes because I mean it’s an opportunity to learn other books, explore other books, and just have fun,” said Kayla McGowan, 5th.
In her 25 years of teaching, Ms. Kolter has tried every trick to get children to read. From promoting classics to trendy titles. This year, it only took Jane.
“I love books, but I know very little about them. She knows all the books, ”Ms. Kolter said.
“Based on my own experience, I have recommended a book to everyone. And I hope they all really enjoyed them, ”said Jane.
Suggested stories from a caring child.
“I really enjoyed doing this for the class and I hope some of the people here will also recommend books to people they know and it can get bigger that way,” Jane said.
By the way, Jane wants to be a teacher when she grows up.
Are you looking for books for your young readers to try this summer? Here is Jane’s list of favorite book recommendations:
Read with Jane!
The Green Embers by SD Smith
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Geimenhart
Guardian of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Scavenger Book by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
The Ickabog by JK Rowling
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Katherine Applegate’s One and Only Ivan
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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