Every morning, the Learning Leopard Library hosts an open checkout from 8:00-8:45. During this time, students of all ages are invited to return their old library books and trade them in for new ones. Students can come as often as they’d like – and many of our frequent fliers check out new books everyday! This independent checkout time offers our older students an excellent opportunity to show off their responsibility in the halls. But for some of our younger students, the long trip alone in the hallway was limiting the number of times per week that they could check out a new book.
To solve this problem, I worked with Ms. Pillow, our guidance counselor, and we found the perfect solution. Each morning, two safety patrol members take their posts as library helpers. From 8:00-8:10, these two responsible ladies help to stock the bottom step of the story pit with books, ready the checkout computer, and check that the library is neat and orderly. Around 8:10, the safety patrol members walk down to pick up younger students who have brought their books back and are ready for checkout.
After stopping at each kindergarten and first grade classroom, our safety patrol members help the students to form a neat and quiet line, and then accompany them on the walk upstairs to the library. Once they’ve arrived, these ladies get even busier – directing traffic, giving personalized book recommendations, providing polite reminders about library behavior, running the checkout computer, and helping students to find a seat for quiet reading time once they are finished checking out. This morning group of youngsters – which sometimes has more than 25 students – treat the library helpers with great respect. Once all students have been guided through the line and have their book ready for the day, Safety Patrol helpers help them to get back into line, back down to their classrooms, and all set up for a successful day of learning and fun.
Since our Safety Patrol morning routine began last month, we have seen a huge jump in students in first grade and kindergarten able to get a new book to read every single day. For some of these students, this is the only opportunity they have to trade for a new book until their class comes in for scheduled library time. Teachers love the positive attitudes, excellent manners, and responsibility of their classroom visitors. Thanks to the hard work of these two ladies, our library is a place that more students can visit and enjoy everyday!
In today’s Friday photo, the Learning Leopard Library’s own safety patrol library helpers guide and assist a group of kindergarten and first grade students checking out new library books. Thank you so much for your help, girls – you’re doing such a great job!