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Looking for a few hundred good books

11:23 AM  Aug 11th, 2011
by Shannon Shelton Miller

More than sixty teachers, principals and librarians from local Catholic elementary schools spent Wednesday curled up with about 400 hundred good books in the second-floor lounge at Marianist Hall.

The literature of choice included works such as Little Chicken’s Big Day, I Love Bugs, and Langston’s Train Ride, a book about a young Langston Hughes’ journey to visit his father in Mexico.

Teacher education professors Jackie Arnold and Mary-Kate Sableski have run the Picture Book Read-In over the past few years with the sponsorship of the University’s Center for Catholic Education, but the event got a financial boost this year with a $3,000 grant from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Arnold and Sableski won the Bonnie Campbell Hill National Literacy Award this summer and will use the grant to fund a yearlong professional learning community involving many of the educators who attended the read-in. The grant will also help send a teacher to the National Council of Teachers of English convention in Chicago this fall.

Local public libraries loaned the books for the read-in, and two librarians from Dayton Metro Library shared their experiences as members of the Caldecott Award selection committee. Each year, the Caldecott Award is given to an artist for excellence in children’s picture book illustration.

Caldecott-winning books weren’t hard to find at the read-in, and the educators took copious notes on all of the books they hoped to see their students reading this fall.

“A librarian from one school said she’s going to share the list with all the teachers at her school,” Sableski said.

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