June 17, 2018



This is the last Book Bites post of the 2017-2018 school year. By Monday afternoon every child in our building will have brought home their individually-tailored summer reading list based on three weeks of book tastings at the HMS library. This past Friday librarians from the Barrington Public Library and Mrs. Maddocks from Barrington Middle School library came to introduce their programs to your children.

Barrington Public Librarian Mary Harty speaks to 4th graders


Barrington Middle School Librarian Nancy Maddocks speaks to 5th graders


Barrington Public Librarian Miss Tanya speaks to 5th graders


A few things to consider for summer:

  • Encourage the habit of reading every day
  • Allow your child choice while encouraging the Reading Without Walls challenge
  • Lead by example- let your child see you reading, read together, and talk about what you and your child are reading
  • Reading is a social activity – encourage your child to do a book club with friends
  • If your child has a public library card know that he/she is well-versed in placing holds in school (see stats below) and should start doing it through the public library catalog based on their book tasting choices
  • If your child does not have a public library card yet, please take him/her to the circulation desk to get one
  • Audiobooks count – it is “reading with your ears”
  • If you have a rising 6th grader, refer to the June 10th Book Bites post for info on how to access the middle school summer reading assignments
  • If you have a rising 4th or 5th grader, the summer reading assignment is to print out a picture of your child holding a book he/she really loved this summer – a “shelfie”. It can be taken in a fun place like a hammock, the beach, with a pet, on a vacation, etc. You can be as creative as you wish! We will be posting these pictures in the hallways at the start of the school year.

Screen time is a factor that impedes reading time. Therefore, I’m including a a few examples of checklists you can use or tweak for your family to encourage a well-rounded schedule. I love the idea of providing children with chores because they are part of a family unit and tasks to teach responsibility which is so important for future success. I’m sure parents would be surprised to know that when their children are at school they are clamoring for jobs!


image from couponsaregreat.net


image taken from http://www.chaosserveddaily.com/2016/06/30/summer-screentime-checklist/


image taken from http://www.ourthriftyideas.com/2014/06/childrens-screen-time-chart.html


End of Year Wrap-Up

It has been a great year for literacy at Hampden Meadows!

Author Visits


Chris Tebbetts


Mark Parisi


HMS Family Book Club -Surprise Author Skype with Barbara O’Connor


Shelly Paroline and Braden Lamb


Ms. Safran invited Elly Swartz to talk to her Fourth Grade Team and a Special

5th Grade Fan’s Class


Melissa Stewart – Grade 4


Reading Week Trivia Winners Ate Lunch with Melissa


Sarah Albee – Grade 5


Reading Week Trivia Winners Ate Lunch with Sarah


Library of Congress Letters About Literature Contest



The RI Level State winner received a congratulatory note from Newbery award-winning author Lois Lowry. Dahlia wrote her letter to Lowry about Number the Stars and connected it to discovering her own grandmother’s history.

Battle of the Books

Fifth grade teacher Mrs. Burke organizes a Battle of the Books competition for the eleven fifth grade classes in our building. Students form teams and divvy up the books on the list to divide and conquer. They have months to read titles and track their progress. In June they eventually get to the semi-finals and finals. At the time of this post I was able to capture the four teams from each wing totally eight teams in the semi-finals. On Monday afternoon the entire fifth grade will be cheering on the teams in the Battle of the Books Finals! I love that excitement and energy for literacy!







Library Council

This hard-working group of students celebrated and championed literacy for our building this school year. They also formed new friendships along the way!


Our Library Parent Volunteers

We had almost 30 parent volunteers who took time out of their busy weekly schedules to assist in the HMS library this year. These parents are the backbone of this library. They check books in, put books away, and check books out so I can focus on the library lessons with our students. The true added bonus of this volunteer position is the relationships they form with students. I overhear them checking in with kiddos, talking about books and recommending books to read. It’s one more adult for a child to have the chance to connect with and it is awesome.

I even had a group of parents nicknamed the “Repair Brigade” who came the last Friday of each month to fix books and cover new books while catching up with one other. I am indebted to the amazing Elaine Van Leer, our tireless volunteer coordinator who happily helped process all of the interlibrary loan books and even meticulously created a “how to” document to train others.

If you know someone new to the community you may want to recommend volunteering in their child’s library. They will get to meet an amazing network of people who care deeply for the children of our town.


End of Year Statistics

Students checked out books from the HMS library from September 2017 through May 2018.

Total Books Circulated 

28, 155 books

That is an average of 51 books per student. Wow! It makes me so happy to think about that much reading happening with our children! I have a great deal of respect for educator and professional author Donalyn Miller, and have been deeply influenced by her in the ways I approach reading with children. She came up with a 40 Book Challenge for students as a way to have them read widely. Our students are very much in line with this challenge whether they know it or not! Here is a quick video clip of Donalyn Miller explaining the 40 Book Challenge.

Total Holds Placed

1,663 books

See what I mean? Your children are fluent at placing holds. If you get them public library cards they are good to go. Refer to the June 10th Book Bites post for a slideshow with directions.

Total ILL Books Received

1,255 books

I am so grateful to the school librarians across our state who sent us titles throughout the school year. After showing book trailers each week our kiddos would eagerly place holds for titles that held their interest. I can think of at least one school that kept sending the same title over and over again for our voracious readers. That book spent more time with our library patrons than its own this year!

Total ILL Books Loaned

162 books

We sent out books to school libraries throughout the state, but other schools were definitely not as demanding as our school!

Most Popular Genres for HMS Readers 2018





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