Students in Bev Nye's sixth grade literature class at McPherson Middle School felt like they were attending the Grammys on Monday morning, only this awards ceremony was slightly different.
Students were able to watch the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards via live stream at the McPherson Museum. The event itself took place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Nye's efforts to assist in students' reading activities outside the classroom has been shown throughout the community as she was awarded $300 from the McPherson Education Foundation for books and an additional $200 from the foundation for the party and $200 from the McPherson Middle School Parent Teacher Organization for books as well.
"My co-teacher, Dustan Kanitz, and I added in some of our own money for more books. But I'm so grateful for all these grants and for the McPherson Museum for putting on this party," she said. "They gave each student a bag and four different treats, plus hot chocolate. This really put them in the celebration mood and the fact that the American Library Association allows people all over the world to stream it and view it live I think adds another bit of excitement to it."
Each year, the American Library Association honors books, videos and other materials for children and teens at this award ceremony. Categories that were honored at this year's event were the Coretta Scott King Book, Caldecott, Newbery and Printz Awards.
In Nye's class, students were most excited about the John Newbery book awards, as they had read many of the books beforehand.
"For the John Newbery award, the most distinguished book in children's literature is chosen by a 15-member committee that changes every year. The committee reads hundreds and hundreds of books. These books have to be published in the prior year and the criteria for the winner is very broad. The author has to live in the U.S. and the target audience should be fourth through eighth grade," Nye explained.
In order to attend the party, students had to read three books outside of class time within the Newbery contender group. Students had from Sept. 1 until the first week in February to finish the books. After they finished reading, students made a gold medal that resembled the John Newbery medal for the books that they thought would be top contenders at the ceremony.
"Only 50 out of 160 sixth graders got to go to this party. What the other sixth grade teacher and I did is we told our kids if you read three of these Newbery contenders and prove it to us, and we each had a little bit different way of accountability, then you get to go to this party," Nye explained.
As reading may be boring for some sixth graders, Nye and Kanitz made sure students had a wide array of books to choose from.
"I make sure there's a variety of genres and graphic novels that will help the reluctant reader. Then I try to talk about some of the books so that it might help them say, 'yes, I can read that book,' and 'yes, that does sound good,'" Nye explained.
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