We have celebrated reading through the Lillian Nelson Literature Award program at our school for 17 years. We created the program to honor a former teacher. Each year we decide on a theme for the books that each teacher reads to their class during storytime. This year our theme is "We Are a School of Readers." We have a kick-off at the beginning of the year to get the teachers and students excited about reading. This year we had goldfish crackers floating in the soup at lunch. The principal read Swimmy by Leon Lionni to each class.

Everyone in the school wrote their name on a paper fish, which was then put on a bulletin board to create a large fish as in the book Swimmy. Each month the class votes for their favorite book of the month. We are keeping track of our books on paper fish attached to a fishing stringer. At the end of the year the class votes for their favorite book of the year. We have an awards ceremony to present our book to the rest of the school. This year the class will create a large fish with the title of their favorite book and author and carry this fish to the ceremony in a fish net. The fish will be displayed in the lunchroom for all the classes to enjoy.

Some of our past themes:

Paws to Read
Kick-off: Each teacher received a dog food dish to serve snack crackers, a paw print sticker for each child and a paw print. We had a program by the police department and their police dog.
Year-end ceremony: the winning books were announced while two children from each class carried a large paw print decorated with the name of the class's favorite book.

Up and Away With Reading
Kick-off: We had a hot air balloon demonstration on the football field.
Year-end ceremony: Each class decorated hot air balloons with the class's favorite book. Postcards from each class were attached to helium balloons and released.

Tell Me a Tale
Kick-off: The teachers, dressed in logging attire like Paul Bunyan, cooked and served a pancake and sausage breakfast for all of the students.
Year-end ceremony: Each classroom door was decorated as the class's favorite book.