What is literacy? I went to Mansion Avenue School’s top authority- Mrs.McGilloway, and I asked her a few questions about what her favorite things about literacy are to find this answer.
Question 1: What is your favorite book?
Answer: I have lots of favorite books. It’s really hard to just pick one. For non-fiction I love a book called Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott. It is about writing and life - two of my favorite things. For fiction I loved the book Little Women when I was younger. One of my current favorites is Let The Great World Spin by Colm McCann. For kids books I really enjoyed Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Question 2: How many book clubs do you run at one time?
Answer: The number of the clubs I have is really based on the interest of students. Usually someone will come to me about a book, and I will say, go find some friends who want to read the same book. And off we go. It also depends on my availability at lunch and if students are available because sometimes there are other activities at lunch. So the answer is more than one and less than, oh say 15.
Question 3: In your opinion, which kind of books do kids like better-nonfiction or fiction?
Answer: That's a hard question. Some kids love fiction and some love nonfiction. It's really just about what you like. Based on requests for book clubs I would say more kids lean towards fiction.
Question 4: What's the most popular book you've seen so far?
Answer: Tom Angleberger books have really taken off. I didn't know much about him until the Origami Yoda book club. I just asked a student to preview his newest creation which is a mystery called Inspector Fly Trap and the Big Deal Mysteries.
Question 5: What do you think Mansion kids could do to read more?
Answer: I think all kids (adults too) need to read more outside of school. It's important to find something you actually like to read. Reading is the number one thing you can do to make you more successful in school and in life (Trust me on this, I have research to back it up). Kids should also use their independent reading time to read- if you can't find something you like ask the teacher, the librarian, or me!
These responses to key questions to this answer tell us exactly what literacy is about-the ability to read and to write, and to love doing this. What Mrs. McGilloway is trying to say is that everyone should read- not because it will help us all, (which it will) but because it is fun to read. That is what literacy is.