Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013

Every Other Thursday, you’ll get this short, fun, relevant newsletter.  It will contain a quote or smile about the library and those who love it, an idea you can use to promote your library or reading in general, a Common Core implementation idea and a shameless plug for the programs I offer.  Enjoy! 

In this issue:
  • Survey Says!
  • Library Smiles
  • Promote Reading over the break
  • Common Core Idea and CONTEST!
  • Shameless Plug  

Survey Says!

I want this newsletter to be a valuable resource for you. Please take 3 minutes to fill out this survey and let me know how I am doing and what I can do to make EOT an even more effective resource. You can get to the survey by going to Thanks!

Library Quote/Smile –

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

Anne Lamott, American novelist and nonfiction writer

This one has NOTHING to do with reading (except that Dave Barry is a writer) but it made me laugh and I had to share!

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!”

Dave Barry, author and syndicated columnist

Promote (From the “General” Section of 45 Ideas in 45 Minutes)
Encourage kids to read a “new” book over the holiday break by hosting a book swap on the last week before you get out of school. A book swap can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like for it to be, but here’s a simple way to do it.

1. You’ll need age appropriate “seed books,” equal to about 20% of your student population. For example, if you have 500 students, you need 100 seed books to get started. Places to get these include asking teachers to bring some from home, going to your local Friends of the Public Library and explaining what you are doing and ask for a deep discount, or approaching a used bookstore and asking for the same thing. Or you may have a bunch of books that you have collected over the year from Bookfairs, donations, etc.

2. Announce the book swap this Monday, and encourage students to bring in age appropriate books this week, for which they will receive a “Book Swap Ticket.” A generic sample book swap ticket can be found by clicking here.

3. The next week, host the book swap, where the students can come in to the media center and redeem their ticket for a “new” used book to enjoy over the holidays.

Common Core Connection

When I was at GaETC this year, I met a couple of amazing teachers who have created a company called “The Curriculum Divas.” I was impressed when I talked to them and got their literature, but was blown away when I joined their website ( and began exploring the resources they have to offer. This section of EOT usually contains a paragraph to help you cement your position as the Common Core Super Hero in your school. Exploring this website and sharing it with your teachers will earn you your cape and fancy superhero boots! Take a look at these resources and see what I mean!

As a matter of fact, I am so impressed with this resource, I am going to do the first ever Every Other Thursday contest. Send me an e-mail ( and tell me in 25 words or less why you should win this contest. I’ll read all entries and will award a one year membership to to three entrants. (Just so you know, they are not paying me to do this, nor are they giving me the memberships. I really believe in this dynamic duo!)  

Shameless Plug

Did you know that TJP offers two science programs for elementary schools that encourage kids to read? “Go Wild!” covers the scientific process and life sciences and “Work Smarter, Not Harder!” is all about simple machines. If your school is having a science night this spring, ask about “The BEST Science Night EVER” deal!

Here’s what one of your colleagues had to say about having a TJP program at her school:

Everyone loved Go Wild! (the science and reading program) and want you to come back!  I have let other schools know about the AWESOME show my students saw.  I tell them how well you manage and control student behavior, and how much the kids learned.  They were sorry when the show ended!”

Patty Krezinski, Media Specialist, Diamond Lakes ES, Hephzibah, GA

Let me know how I can help! See you in two weeks!

Encouraging kids to read, I am
Tommy Johns
Educational Entertainment Specialist
PS – Don’t forget to enter the contest!

PPS – Have a WONDER-Filled Holiday season, whatever holidays you celebrate!
Call (770) 640-6509 or Toll Free at (866) 490-READ
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