The Increase Miller Elementary Book Swap
A PARP tradition at IMES
How many books have been donated? “Thousands,” said Librarian Juli Hoffman. She is not kidding. She’s been taking donations for the Increase Miller Elementary Book Swap since mid-February. Boxes and bins of picture books, chapter books and reference books, broadly sorted by reading level, take up a corner of the library.
Organizing the swap is a labor of love. It's free, it's fun and it's good for the environment. "Students leave the swap feeling rich," said Library Clerk Debbie Chumsky, who is an instrumental part in the swap's success.
"The excitement this week in the library was palpable," said Hoffman. "I absolutely love running the book swap every year, but this year was especially fitting because our PARP theme, Wild World Reading Heroes, is all about finding ways to help our environment! What better way than rehoming thousands of great books to new families who will treasure them."
The fun of free books
Organization helps readers find just the right book
Fifth grade classes are first to attend the swap. They browse neatly organized sections of realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, adventure, humor, sports and animals. Each student can pick out two books. When kindergarteners come in, on the other hand, they’ll be able to select five books—there were that many more donations for their reading level.
Charlotte gets "The Return of Zita the Spacegirl" and "Riverbound."
Danika finds the "The Whole Story of Half a Girl."
Dean gets "Holes" and the "Guinness World Records 2018."
Michael finds the book he donated—"The Bridge to Terabithia"—and keeps on looking.
Sharing books with friends
While students browse through the books, a fourth grader comes into the library with a raffle ticket. During the month of March, teachers acknowledge students’ responsible actions by handing out tickets which are entered for a chance to win an entire series of books at the swap.
Students settle on the carpet, content with their books. “You got Harry Potter 'Chamber of Secrets,'” one student said to another; they smack a high five.
“I see beautiful choices,” said Hoffman.