Kindergarten students are introduced to the media center through a stuffed animal bookworm named Mr. Wiggles. He is a spin-off from the main character in the "Mr. Wiggle" series written by Paula M. Craig and Carol L. Thompson. This loveable character fosters reading, writing and communication skills within our youngest learners while building community.
The students take turns bringing this friend home for a one-week stay. They document his adventures by creating a print book or sharing photos/text virtually. When a student returned to the media center class with the Wiggles suitcase after the week-long adventure, the child would present their book to the class using a document camera to project it for all to see.
The school year ends with all kindergarteners receiving their very own Wiggles (uniquely named) with a summer reading journal. When students return as first-graders, they are required to return the summer reading journal, which will provide me with additional data to determine the effectiveness of providing kindergarten students with a reading buddy to encourage summer reading. (This is the first year I sent home a journal to be returned in the fall.)
A Connecticut school created a take-home library mascot to foster an early love of reading and writing.