Autism Awareness, School Libraries, and Summer Reading

 //  Apr 6, 2017

Autism Awareness, School Libraries, and Summer Reading

The month of April offers us the opportunity to share a lot of rich content for educators, as it's Autism Awareness Month and School Library Month. It's also time for educators, libraries and community partners to pre-register for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge, our free online/mobile reading program dedicated to stopping the “Summer Slide” by encouraging kids to read throughout the summer months when school is out. 

Autism Awareness Month

Barbara Boroson, author of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom, How to Reach and Teach Students with ASD, published an article with ASCD's Educational Leadership. In "Inclusive Education: Lessons From History" Boroson explores the "meaningful inclusion of individuals who are different from the majority." She begins by taking a look at the history of inclusion (and exclusion) in the US educational system, and moves on to consider in particular the treatment of students on the autism spectrum.

Boroson encourages an approach that meets students where they are. She writes:

"Offer and accept a variety of ways for students to express their knowledge. Many students assimilate far more knowledge than they are able to demonstrate through conventional means. Whenever possible, let students choose to speak, write, act, sing, dance, pantomime, illustrate, videotape, collage, montage, podcast—or whatever vehicle drives them."

To read the full article, go to ASCD (and go here to read Boroson's EDU post 10 Things Educators Can Do Before Day One to Support Students on the Autism Spectrum.)

School Library Month

We learned from the Kids & Family Reading Report that 95% of parents agree "every child deserves to have a school library" and 95% of parents also agree "every community needs to have a public library." We also know that "across ages, children turn to teachers or school librarians (51%) to get the best ideas about books to read for fun." School librarians play a critical role in establishing a culture of literacy in schools, and supporting students' literacy achievement.  

One way to recognize the powerful work of school librarians is to submit nominations to the School Library Journal 2017 School Librarian of the Year award. A panel comprised of SLJ editors, Scholastic Library Publishing staff, the 2016 School Librarian of the Year , and a school administrator will judge nominations based on creativity in programming and use of content, demonstrated student engagement, exemplary use of technology tools, and more. Learn more here.

Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Pre-Registration

We know that reading during the summer helps stop the "summer slide." Summer is coming, and it's time for schools to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, a fun (and free) way to help motivate kids to read during the summer months. This year, we libraries and community partners can register for the Challenge! They can create "classrooms," register kids, monitor reading progress, and access free summer reading resources and booklists in both English and Spanish. Go to to learn more and pre-register!