Today I went to the Big Book Sale, put on by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. It’s a great event. The selection is huge (more than 500,000 books), and everything is $1 on Sunday. Plus, Fort Mason is a great place on a sunny weekend afternoon.
This got me thinking: Why aren’t more schools getting involved? Why isn’t this a field trip?
I know that funding for field trips is limited. But imagine taking the bus there, getting a snack at Safeway or somewhere across the street, and letting students loose in the enormous pavilion. The tables of books go on forever.
Even better: Give students $5 and tell them to find five books to take home.
To promote reading, libraries are great, and classroom libraries are even better. For some students, classroom Kindle projects offer the advantage of technology. But there is nothing that replaces making sure that students own books at home.
Yes, $5 per student is expensive. But it’s sending a message that reading is important, that books are important, and that students should be able to choose books they like and then be able to keep them forever.