I grew up going with my mother to the public library and I have never stopped going. Like my daughter, it is high on my list of favorite places.
Several years ago, as I was preparing to finish the year with another group of second graders, I happened to notice the new library that was opening near the neighborhood of my school. In the minutes it took for me to drive home, I had a hopeful idea to make that library a special place for my students. I created a survey to send home to the parents of my students asking them about their interest in meeting me at the library once a week throughout the summer. I asked for them to indicate the best days and times and sent home a library card application with my letter.
A couple of weeks later, I delivered the applications to the library and picked up cards for most of my students. The librarian gave me a card too, even though I don't live in that city. The last day of school, when I gave each of my students a book I had picked out specifically for him/her, I also gave them their library cards. They were so excited and proud! I mean, seriously, how often do kids get to have an official card with their name on it? Library cards = POWER!!! :)
Saying good-bye to my students didn't really feel so final because we got to say, "I'll see you at the library!" Every Wednesday afternoon, with a few exceptions for vacation, I was at the library from 3:00-5:00. One week, I had seven students and their families show up and other weeks, I had one or none. I was just there to listen to them read, help them pick out books, and chat with their parents. When I had no one to talk to, I picked out books for myself and discovered a lot of gems!
So, if you are looking for a super-easy and fun (probably more fun for me than for them!) way to continue loving on and support your bilingual students' love for reading, consider becoming a regular fixture in their public library. After all, it IS such a SPECIAL PLACE! You have read this book, haven't you? LOVE IT!
And, if you aren't convinced yet, Lydia Breiseth, managar of Colorín