You may already be familiar with the Books for Keeps Program, but just in case, here are some answers to frequently asked questions. And feel free to keep asking questions – RIF Pittsburgh’s staff is here to help make your experience as a Site Coordinator as fun and easy as possible!
What is my role as Site Coordinator?
What is a Reading Celebration?
What is a book selection?
When and where will I receive my books?
What do I do with the books once I get them?
What do I do with the extra books?
What are the stickers for?
Will I get a volunteer?
What will the Outreach Member do?
What do I do if I don't get a volunteer?
Is there paperwork required?
As Site Coordinator, you are responsible for receiving the shipment of RIF books, sorting them according to grade level, organizing a Reading Celebration for EVERY child at your site, and ensuring that every RIF kid receives a book choice. You may either run the Reading Celebration (motivational activity + book selection) with every child at your site in a centralized manner, or you must ensure that each teacher runs his or her own Reading Celebration that follows RIF’s rules (motivational activity must be fun and every child must receive a book choice). You are also responsible for coordinating visits with the RIF Outreach Member, and completing your Reading Celebration Report
and Outreach Report
two weeks after each Reading Celebration.
A Reading Celebration includes two main components – a RIF book selection and a motivational reading activity designed to get kids excited about their book and inspire a love of reading. A Reading Celebration can include a story read aloud, an art activity, a science project, a creative writing activity, dramatic play, or an interactive game! The only rule for a Reading Celebration is that it must be FUN and ENGAGING and get the kids excited to choose their very own RIF book to take home and keep. Check out some of the sample reading activities in this manual for some ideas.
The book selection is one of the most important components of the Reading Celebration. During this part, you should lay out an age-appropriate selection of books for the children to choose from. Choice is a key component of the RIF model. By allowing children to choose their books to keep, we help motivate them to want to read, while encouraging them to take pride in book ownership. After selecting their book, every child will write his/her name on a special RIF nameplate sticker and place it inside the book.
You will receive your shipment of RIF books directly to your site approximately one to two weeks before your scheduled Reading Celebration. You will also receive an email confirming this shipment. If you do not receive your books by the scheduled shipment date, please contact RIF Pittsburgh.
Once you receive the books, you can sort them according to grade level. You will be receiving an extra 10% of books to ensure book choice, so if you are distributing the books to multiple teachers, make sure that each teacher receives a few extra books.
The extra books must be available during the Book Selection so that the children have a choice of books. After the Reading Celebration, the extra books are yours to keep. You can incorporate them into your school or classroom library, use them as prizes and incentives, or anything else you can think of that will benefit the children at your site!
Before your Reading Celebration, you will receive a shipment of “This Book Belongs To” stickers for every child at your site. These stickers are for the children to place inside the book they choose and then write their name inside. These special stickers help to emphasize pride in book ownership, which increases motivation for children to read the book they choose.
RIF Pittsburgh will do our best to send a trained Outreach Member to your site on the day of your scheduled Reading Celebration. However, RIF Pittsburgh has a large number of sites, and cannot guarantee that our Outreach Member will be available on the date that you choose. We will be in touch approximately 2 weeks before your scheduled Reading Celebration to coordinate. If you would like an Outreach Member to visit your site, but he or she is busy on the day that you originally chose, feel free to change the date of your Reading Celebration.
The Outreach Member can help out with your Reading Celebration by assisting with your event or bringing an activity that is already planned. He or she can visit several groups or classrooms, read a story aloud, and do an activity with the children. An Outreach Member will contact you in advance of the Reading Celebration so that you can suggest book or activity ideas, let him or her know how many classrooms he or she will be visiting, and give he or she any other instructions for the day of the event.
If an Outreach Member or volunteer is not available, you are responsible for organizing the Reading Celebration on your own. If you are working at a school and don’t work directly with every child, you must ensure that the teachers conduct a Reading Celebration in their classroom at the time of the RIF book selection.
Yes! After each Reading Celebration, you must complete the Reading Celebration Report within two weeks. If our Outreach Member or other trained RIF volunteer visited your site, you must complete the Outreach Report. At the end of the program, you will be responsible for completing a year-end survey.