Monday, June 10, 2013


Summer vacation is on everyone’s mind and students and teachers are looking forward to fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. Victims of recent tornadoes in Oklahoma face a different summer reality. Storms and other traumatic losses are a more regular occurrence, or perhaps it’s how our news cycles are 24/7. Authors receive steady requests to donate books to charity raffles and to help rebuild library and school collections. We readily give our books, knowing that those rebuilding new homes or schools will need books to help with their healing process.

Bibliotherapy involves finding books that will help someone heal from a trauma or gain an understanding of an aspect of their personality or issue that is occurring in their life. According to the ODLIS, Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science, bibliotherapy is traditionally defined as a planned reading program designed to facilitate the recovery of patients suffering from mental illness or emotional disturbance.

SEND A BOOK AND A SMILE: Bibliotheraphy at the classroom level
Every year, teachers and students clean out their classrooms before summer vacation. This year, take that classroom clean-up one step further.
1.     Together, as a classroom, choose an organization you’d like to help, such as the Oklahoma Red Cross, Books for Africa, a local family with a parent serving in the military, or a family shelter in your area.
2.     Choose a classroom book (or books*) that you read aloud and discuss together. *Books might also come from student donations.
3.     Every student writes a short letter about what they enjoyed in this book. Encourage them to write something about their own school experience, too.
4.     Include a happy classroom photo for the children or organization they are writing to in this special care package.
5.     Wrap the book and letters.
6.     Students can draw a small picture on the packing envelope before it is mailed.
7.     Student could bring in a quarter (if possible) to help with mailing costs.
8.     Send some summer sunshine with this book and letter package to help a community in need.

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