The ‘Starbooks’ café offers many reading delights at Kyle Wilson Elementary School
Posted on 12/03/2019
Students sitting around a table reading books

Drinking hot chocolate and reading a good book at the ‘Starbooks’ café was a favorite activity for Kyle Wilson Elementary School students. Fourth-grade teachers Alyssa Holbrook and Nicole Ward came up with the idea for independent reading time to encourage students to ‘taste’ books from various genres.

The menu specials at the ‘Starbooks’ café include, Egypt dark robust, which is a bold discovery of Ancient Egyptians, and the chocolate fever latte is the perfect blend of humor and magic layered in perfection. These are not beverages though; the descriptions refer to books that students may choose to read.

The ‘Starbooks’ café is open during independent reading time. Holbrook explained, “We wanted to do something that the students would relate to. Most of the students go to Starbucks with their parents and think that it is the ‘cool’ thing to do. Connecting reading to their real-world experiences engages and excites the students.”

Holbrook and Ward divided students into groups based on individual needs and reading levels, then created the menu selections using books available in the school’s book room.

“We had previously done a lesson on how to pick independent reading books, as well as on genre. Most of the students get stuck reading the same kind of book and this was a way to allow them to ‘taste’ multiple types of genres that were on their level,” Holbrook explained.

Incorporating multiple types of genres into lessons is a Virginia Standard of Learning (SOL).

Students enjoyed their time at the ‘Starbooks’ café, which was complete with a fireplace. Not a real fireplace, of course, but a photo of a cozy looking fire on the smart board.

Fourth-grader Diego Arzadum selected a book from Author Lauren Tarshis’ ‘I Survived’ series. “That was a lot of fun. I bought them all at the book fair after," he shared. His classmate Shaniya Scott said, "I think I read ‘A Hero Next Door’ (a compilation of stories edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich). It was my favorite because it had history in it, but it was realistic.” Sherman Anqomea read ‘The Hero Two Doors Down,’ by Sharon Robinson. He explained, “I like that it talks about sports and history.”