MONROE – Union County Public Schools will soon stock middle school classroom libraries with new titles.
Superintendent Andrew Houlihan explained to the school board’s curriculum committee on Nov. 29 that UCPS has a three-year phase-in plan to buy more sets for classroom libraries. UCPS began two years ago with kindergarten through second grades and continued last year with third through fifth grades.
Laurel Healy, director of secondary education at UCPS, said instructional coaches began inventorying middle school classrooms last spring. They determined what the greatest areas of need are, as well as solicited input from teachers.
Other factors included how books compared to curriculum standards, reading levels and cultural responsiveness.
Classroom sets could be used for independent reading, book clubs, anchor texts referenced all year and interactive readalongs.
“A lot of times, we think that’s not appropriate for seventh grade but children still love to be read to,” Healy said of readalongs. “There’s some very powerful messages from those types of books.”
UCPS is looking at buying classroom sets from companies like Amazon, Columbia University and Scholastic. The district has already decided to move forward with an order from National Geographic.
“We found most of these titles are for social studies,” Healy said of National Geographic. “That’s what they do best, but there are also some for math and science. And because we hope to be able to do this with high school, there are some titles that are in Spanish and lower level readers that match the content there.”