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Principals Promote
Reading Aloud With
Special 2009 Award


Are you a principal who is looking for a special way to promote and model reading for fun? You can share your love of reading and set a great example for students by reading aloud the five books that are nominated for the 2009 Principal’s Read Aloud Award.

Which Book
Will Win?

Principals can take part in this years Read Aloud Award program by reading the five nominated books to their students and voting online for their favorite. The five books nominated for the 2009 Principals Read Aloud Award are...

A Bad Case of Stripes, written by David Shannon

Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble With Hally Tosis, written by Dav Pilkey

Hooway for Wodney Wat, written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood, written by Mike Artell and illustrated by Jim Harris

The Web Files, written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Richard Egielski

Click to learn more about these books or how to vote for your favorite.

This year is the third year principals will present the Read Aloud Award, which is bestowed at the annual convention of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The organization developed the award as a way to recognize quality literature and encourage principals to read aloud to students, according to Raven Padgett, director of communications and public relations for the organization.

Reading aloud demonstrates to students how much a principal enjoys reading and just how much fun reading can be, Padgett said.

When a principal reads to students, it sends a message to students, parents, and staff that reading is valued, added Bill Rich, who is principal at McFall Elementary School in Middleville, Michigan, and chair NAESPs Read Aloud Award focus group.

We do a lot with reading in my school, Rich told Education World. But its not just all about teaching kids to read. We have to inspire kids to want to pick up books too. Passing along a love of reading, not just the ability to read, is the greatest gift we can give to children.

Rich reads to each of his schools teams for 30 minutes a week. In addition, he often reads aloud to adult audiences. When I was president of the Michigan state principals association, I would always bring along a read-aloud, said Rich. So it was natural that, when he got involved in NAESP on a national level, he would work reading aloud into his Zone Directors Report.

I approached NAESP leaders about initiating this award not only to recognize a good title but to maybe inspire other principals to take an opportunity to read a tried-and-true read-aloud book to students, he said.

Richs inspiration for reading aloud and this award comes from Bill Martin, Jr., author of such popular childrens books as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom .

Bill Martin was my mentor, said Rich, who ended up getting involved with Martins summer literacy institutes. Rich even presented a session on Bringing Books to Life at those institutes.

The institutes were like summer camps for adults who share the passion of reading aloud, added Rich. It is through the institutes that Rich has developed lifelong friendships with many childrens book authors. One author, Mike Thaler, even dedicated one of his books, The Principal from the Black Lagoon, to Rich.

Its not just all about teaching kids to read. We have to inspire kids to want to pick up books too.

The first Principals Read Aloud Award was presented in 2007 to Jon Scieszka, author of many award-winning childrens books, including The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, which earned him the principals award. In his acceptance of the award, Scieszka said he was honored to be recognized by principals because his father was an elementary school principal for more than 30 years.

The 2008 winner of the Principals Read Aloud Award was Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin. More than 900 principals from across the country voted for Click, Clack, Moo, a charming tale about Farmer Brown and his barn full of literate cows.

Rich considers himself fortunate that the staff at McFall shares his passion for reading aloud. My librarian and I are always trying to one-up each other by sharing the latest, greatest read-aloud, he said.


Principals Favorite Read-Aloud Books: 2008
Are you a principal who loves to read aloud to students? Modeling a joy of reading is one of the most valuable things you can do. So what is the book (or books) that you most love to share? That's what we asked members of our "Principal Files" team, and here is their list. Included: Add to the list by sharing your favorite read-aloud titles.

Principals Favorite Read-Aloud Books: 2001
Education World asked our Principal Files principals to share their favorite books to read aloud to students. The result is a list of books -- some popular and familiar, others obscure -- that should be on every principal's reading list. Included: More than 20 principal-recommended titles.

Strategies That Work: Reading Aloud
Many teachers believe reading aloud enhances classroom instruction and improves academic achievement -- and recent research supports their beliefs.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2008 Education World

Originally published 10/29/2007
Last updated 12/01/2008