Principal to Principal - Presented by Scholastic Book Fairs, Your Literacy Partner
Fall 2008  

    In This Issue:
  Exclusive Interview with Author James Patterson
  Copy-and-Share Tips, Tools, and Resources
  Principal's Book Club Reaps Added Benefits

  The Secret to Turning Kids on to Reading

Get to know James Patterson.
James Patterson is the best-selling author of the Maximum Ride and Alex Cross series, which enjoy an almost cult-like following among kids and young adults.

In this exclusive interview, he talks about some of the best ways principals and parents can get kids excited about reading.

Question: As a best-selling author of adult books, why did you decide to write books for younger readers?

Patterson: There are many reasons. My 10-year-old son often tells me stories about friends in school and their lack of enthusiasm for books. His observations have made me want to do something to introduce more kids and young adults to the enjoyment of reading. This is what I believe is most important: getting good books into the hands of kids – books that will make them want to say, "Wow, that was great. Give me another one to read."

Visit our Web site to keep reading the interview.

 Copy-and-Share Resources

Use these copy-and-share resources in your own newsletters.
Principal to Principal is written by and for principals who want to spread the joy of reading to students and their families and friends. Each issue includes free resources for educators and parents.

Feel free to copy and share any of these articles in your own school newsletters.

For Elementary School Parents:

> Six Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension
Help your child retain what she reads – a crucial skill, especially as she gets older and needs to glean important information from textbooks.

> Eight Steps to Successful, Happy Read-Alouds
How can you help your little one learn without stifling his confidence or turning reading time into a chore? These guidelines will help.

> Go Clubbing

The idea of setting aside a few hours every month to discuss books can be daunting, but a parent-child book group can reap benefits beyond reading.

For Middle School Parents:

> Using Computers to Improve Reading Skills
Most of today’s teenagers are computer savvy, however, parents often overlook the use of computers as a tool for struggling or unmotivated readers.

> Break the Communication Logjam
These days, parenting a teen can feel harder than ever. The best way to stay close to a budding teenager? Try books.

Book Fairs: Helping principals inspire a love of reading.

Kid believe technology will NOT replace books! Hear what else they said in the 2008 Kids & Family Reading Report.

Visit, James Patterson's go-to resource to help encourage kids to read.

Principal to Principal Tip: Book of the Month Club
Principal David Zolkowski shares his Book of the Month with students.
When Howe Elementary School principal David Zolkowski launched a Book of the Month Club last year, he had three goals in mind: encourage a love of reading, stress the importance of classroom libraries, and support the school’s character education program.

Each month, Zolkowski selects books that highlight character traits, such as courage or loyalty, and appeal to both younger and older kids. He reads the book aloud with every class, displays a copy in his office, and posts related activities and author information online. "The students really look forward to it, and I love it," he says. "It spurs a lot of discussion and gets them really excited about books."

The program is not only a hit with students and teachers…parents love it too. "They read the books so they can talk about them with their child," says Zolkowski. "The discussion continues from school to home, which is a great side benefit."

Looking for great books to share with your students? Check out these can't-miss recommendations.


Share Your Ideas With Us
Want to suggest an idea for a story or share a tried-and-true reading resource with other principals? Contact the editor of Principal to Principal.


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