In order to prepare students to be successful in the 21st century, it is imperative for them to develop strong literacy skills that are supported and valued by teachers, parents, and community members. The Mayor's Book Club, a partnership between the NJ League of Municipalities and the School of Education at Monmouth University, focuses on promoting a strong collaboration among the school, home, and broader community. This model program engages and motivates students to read broadly.
This program is designed to support and enhance the literacy development of first graders. The first graders who participate in the Mayor's Book Club will read a total of eight books over a four-month period starting in January and will have the opportunity to be read to by a special guest reader, their own Mayor! Each student who participates in the program will receive a book at the conclusion of the program. In addition, each school that has read at least 1,000 books will be given $1,000 to be spent on books for their first-grade classroom libraries.
The Goal of the Mayor's Book Club
This program outcome is for community leaders, librarians, teachers, university teacher candidates, and families to collaborate for the purpose of assisting and supporting the literacy needs of young readers and promote achievement.
The Monmouth University School of Education Dean and literacy faculty member Lynn Romeo; literacy faculty members Kerry Carley-Rizzuto, Lilly Steiner, Carolyn Groff; and university teacher candidates serve as a resource to students and teachers as they participate in this collaborative project.
Lynn Romeo, Dean of the Monmouth University School of Education, said, "We are always excited to partner with local mayors and community leaders on this important initiative to help develop strong literacy skills of young readers and prepare them to be successful in the 21st century."
The sponsors of the Mayor's Book Club are Barnes and Noble, JCP&L, NJ American Water, NJ Natural Gas/NJ Natural Resources, and United Water
The following mayors and schools are participating in the Mayor's Book Club for 2014:
The following mayors and schools participated in the Mayor's Book Club for 2013:
To ensure that students reached their goal, Kevin Iozzi, Principal at Margaret L. Vetter School, said teachers collected reading logs and sent new logs home. According to Iozzi, the students almost doubled their goal by reading a total of 1,980 books. "The immediate and most important benefit in participating in this program is the amount of reading that each child completed in the four-month period. They far exceeded their goal." Iozzi said. "The monetary award for the classroom libraries is a bonus and will benefit future classes through the purchase of more books".
As part of the Mayor's Book club initiative, students from Dr. Kerry Rizzuto's EDL 280: Introduction to Early Childhood went out to read at the Madison Park Elementary School in Old Bridge on Monday, April 21st, 2014. Each Monmouth University student read books to groups of children from Mrs. Sevidio's and Mrs. Salemi's 1st grade classes. Everyone had such a great time reading together, it was difficult to decide which group had a better time, the MU students or the first grade students.
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