George Lucas Educational Foundation

Getting Books Into Every Student’s Hands

At this school, nurturing a love of reading begins with book shopping, a practice where students choose books from their classroom libraries to bring home—every week.

August 3, 2023

At P.S. 249, the Caton School, in Brooklyn, New York, every student from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade has the opportunity to go “book shopping” each week. Principal Elisa Brown has prioritized Title I funding to ensure that each classroom has its own library filled with thousands of chapter and picture books for students to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction. Teachers pair students at similar reading levels to browse the collection together and help hold each other accountable, then give them a time slot during the school day to select anywhere from four to 10 books. The classroom libraries are continually updated based on student interest, and books are often connected to what they are learning in class. And the best part? Students get to bring their books home on loan each week, in a special book baggie designed to track and protect the books, which encourages a love of reading, allows them to share their interests with their families, and strengthens reading skills at home and at school. 

Schools That Work

P.S. 249 The Caton School

Public, Urban
Grades PK-5
Brooklyn, NY

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Filed Under

  • School Libraries
  • Literacy
  • Student Engagement
  • English Language Arts
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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