March 2003
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Book Drive Banishes Boredom
By Casey W., Grade 12, Fredericton High, Fredericton, NB

When FHS teacher Diane Langille used to ask her students to read in class, most of them would yawn and roll their eyes.

Not anymore.

Thanks to a week-long book drive, Mrs. Langille added nearly 600 adventure stories, romances and mysteries to the shelves in her classroom at Fredericton High School.

"The kids are really excited about it," the Grade 9 and 10 English teacher said. Mrs. Langille says the idea of a book drive has been brewing in the back of her head since the fall but she only recently found time to do it.

She wanted to give her students a wider variety of books to choose from during silent reading in class. The school's budget doesn't pay for novels in the classroom so many teachers line their shelves with their old favorites from home.

Mrs. Langille says her favorites did not always appeal to her students.

"I really did not have a wide selection of books," she said. "I mean I can understand why my boys would not want to be reading my old copy of A Little Princess."

The book drive involved both her Grade 9 and Grade 10 English classes and near the end of the week even her home room class of seniors joined in on the fun.

Mrs. Langille asked the students to go through their bookshelves at home and bring in any books they could spare. Even though her students are usually enthusiastic about any idea she proposes she offered the incentive of a pizza party for the class that collected the most books.

Duncan B., one of her Grade 9 students, called the book drive "really cool."

"I love to read," he said, "I'm looking forward to having more of a choice of books."

Mrs. Langille says she was overwhelmed by the response.

New titles fill her classroom shelves and any books that weren't appropriate for the classroom will be exchanged for others at the local used book store The Owl's Nest.

Mrs. Langille says even though she still advises students to use the FHS library, the classroom books fill a gap because many students aren't anxious to spend their lunch hour in the library looking for a good book. She hopes her book drive leads to "widespread good reading."

The winners of the book drive pizza party were Mrs. Langille's period 2, Grade 9 English students. They collected 210 books.


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