Inspiring Students to Thrive in Literacy: Sagebrush Book Awards, K-7 Reading Motivation Program

Posted On Thursday November 17, 2022

In our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, our district mission is to support learning opportunities and environments to inspire students to thrive. For some students, inspiration comes from reading and for others, it can be hard to be motivated to read.  This new K-7 reading program is designed to captivate readers to read-reflect-vote.

Through the leadership of District Coordinator Andrea Wallin, many students who may not have found connections and relationships to characters in stories, SD73 teacher-librarians have introduced a new reading motivation program - the SD73 Sagebrush Book Awards! 

“Our goal was to encourage students to read or listen to as many books as possible with the hope of immersing themselves in the lives of characters that they can relate to,” explained Ms. Wallin.

Sagebrush Book Awards is a new Library Learning Commons program geared towards elementary school students. Selected by a committee of Teacher-librarians, the shortlisted 8 fiction and 8 picture books represent a variety of styles and reading abilities. Students are encouraged to track their reading using their bookmarks and read or listen to as many of these books as possible. Voting will take place in May 2023. 

“The Teacher-librarian team which worked on this project; Nicole Gorman, Nicole Pereversoff, Renae Gartrell, Tori Cooke, Kelly Kipp, enjoyed collaborating with the District Graphic Designer in the creation of the logo, bookmarks and poster,” said Ms. Wallin.

Program Goals include

  • to inspire and motivate elementary students to read a diverse range of picture books and novels
  • to encourage learners to see themselves and learn about other perspectives
  • to encourage students to think about the books they read 
  • to share their opinions and vote for their favorites
  • to foster a joy of reading by sharing books from our library learning commons collection

Selection Criteria

Each year, 8 picture books & 8 novels will be selected. To be nominated for the SD73 Sagebrush Book Awards, books should:

  • appeal to a range of ages
  • feature themes which reflect a variety of perspectives
  • promote joy of reading
  • generate discussion and reflection
  • stimulate personal growth and the growth of critical thinking

Note: An effort will be made to select books published within 3 years of the program year.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee reads, reviews, and recommends books that meet the selection criteria and are deemed to be the best available titles for a given year. Committee members are practicing SD73 Teacher-librarians, who have a passion for spreading the joy of reading.

SD73 Program Delivery

Teacher-librarians will encourage their school community to read the suggested titles and vote for their favourite. To be eligible to vote, a student must read or listen to any number of the nominated books. In late spring, students will cast votes for the book that they enjoyed the most. Votes will be tallied by the committee and the book which receives the most student votes will be officially designated the SD73 Sagebrush Book Award winner! Following this announcement, school celebrations may take many forms, such as library book donations, author talks, literacy extension projects, or inserting book plates. Past winners will be archived on the SD73 Sagebrush Book Awards website.

For more information visit the Sagebrush Book Awards website or talk to your school Teacher-Librarian.

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