The March Community Read is a project to promote literacy and the love of reading at Oceanside High School's East campus. Students in grades ten through twelve, as well as staff, are encouraged to participate in any and all activities. Copies of a chosen novel are made available at the beginning of the month. Throughout the remainder of the month activities are created in an effort to reach as many students possible.
We have just completed the third year of this event. One-hundred and twenty three copies of Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave were distributed. The two previous novels chosen were; Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Some criteria for the chosen novel include; a novel that allows all our students regardless of reading level to participate and young adult appeal. We have also been fortunate to choose novels that have media recognition. Though it has not been mandatory criterion, we have purposefully chosen books that belong to a series. The hope it so keep the students reading once we’ve hooked them with the first book. The response has been immediate and the sequels fly off the library shelves with lightning speed.
Activities have varied and we are still trying to perfect the formula of what will get students involved. Activities at this time include team competitions and games, as well, as individual events. The idea is to create a place for team building skills but also allow individual talents the chance to shine. This year we created a library Facebook page to encourage weekly discussion about the novel and its many themes. There is always a community service component that allows us to give back. In previous years we have collected items for a local food bank and animal shelter. This year we were fortunate to pair with the local city library for some shared events. This year we invited four local writers to meet with students to discuss the book writing world. Last year we added the “Get Caught in a Random Act of Reading” component. Students who were caught reading through the school day were given a ticket that was redeemable in the library for a small prize.