District librarian Teresa Krajco knows how to build an appetite for reading.
“We try to make it special, make it something just different enough to capture the imagination.”
Krajco curated Hillsboro’s first book tasting in 2019, transforming the school library into something new - work spaces transformed into café tables (complete with table cloth and electric candles) - each host to a different genre of literature, where students were “served” a variety of titles to try.
This year marked the first opportunity for some high school classes to attend the tasting, and Erin Hora, high school English teacher, felt it was an overwhelmingly positive experience for her students.
“It allowed students, some of who might not claim to be big readers, to find titles that did interest them. It’s great to see that engagement, and I think a lot of students were surprised by how much they have available right at their fingertips.”
Patte Michalek, Hillsboro’s new 8th grade ELA teacher, added another memorable touch this year, a café menu for students to rate books on their first impressions, including thoughts about the cover, back cover and whether they felt hooked by the synopsis of the story.
Erin Jirschele introduced her sixth grade class in for the book tasting as well, familiarizing the new middle school students to the MS/HS Library and the wide catalog of books available to them.
After seeing the positive response that the event has garnered from students, Teresa Krajco has her eye on growing the program.
“I’d like to host an event for our staff, really using the same principles, giving them an opportunity to see the resources that we have available in the library that they might want to use for their classrooms or professional development. Create the same ambiance, the tablecloths, the electric candles, maybe some coffee or hot chocolate. The little touches really do make a difference, when you create a new space, you create an opportunity for someone to see something in a new way.”