Glen Allan Elementary has a few fun ways to engage students with books.
For the past four years, librarian Stephanie Gauchier has been creating reading programs that are interactive and unique for students. One of her ideas has been to set up her school similarly to the Harry Potter books.
"Harry Potter was the book that really sparked my love of reading when I was a child and it's something that I wanted to try to reintroduce to our students to try to keep it alive. This is the third year we've done it and it has been a big success," said Gauchier.
At the beginning of the year, there is a big ceremony where teachers from grades 3 to 6 each get their grade sorted into one of the four houses from Harry Potter. For the rest of the year, students try to earn house points for things like proper library behaviour, showing respect and leadership in school and through challenges, like trivia and scavenger hunts, that Gauchier sets up throughout the year. On the flip side, students can also lose house points for poor behavior.
At the end of the year, the house with the most points wins a trophy called the House Cup, as well as a Harry Potter themed party in the library.
"Part of it is that I get really excited about it and I guess they kind of feed off that," Gauchier said as to why the system has been so successful.
Since starting the program, the school has gone all-out in making the program as fun and interactive for students as possible. There is a display case at the front of the school showing how many points each house has so that students can keep track. Some teachers have added Harry Potter to their curriculum through art projects or by doing novel studies on the books.
"It's really exciting for me that they've jumped on board."
For her part, Gauchier decorates the library with Harry Potter decor, such as the sorting hat, a toy owl called Hedwig and banners for the houses.
"Just a little bit of decoration to keep it alive and magical."