Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring Hill school's 'Lunch in the Library' program aims to spark interest in reading

SPRING HILL — Usually, eating in the library earns students a scolding, or at least a stern look, from the staff.

But several times a year, Fox Chapel Middle School library media specialist Kathy Buchnowski invites students into the media center to eat and learn during her "Lunch in the Library" sessions.

When funding allows, she provides the food. Other times students bring their lunches and she provide treats, such as cookies.

There are 30 spots available for students each time, and they sign up if they want to participate.

The lunches are centered on literacy and sometimes have holiday themes. Teachers sometimes volunteer to read to the students as they eat. In October, the stories were scary. The December lunch was decorated with a holiday theme and featured holiday stories.

The most recent get-together was a celebration of Black History Month. As they ate, sixth-graders learned about famous African-American authors.

Buchnowski shared some of her favorite books and authors with the students: We Beat the Street, by Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt; Slam and Hoops by Walter Dean Myers, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award; and The Legend of Bass Reeves, by Gary Paulsen.

Buchnowski has been offering Lunch in the Library for seven years and has been at Fox Chapel for 14 years. She has taught social studies and reading, and for the past seven years she has worked as a media specialist. She uses the lunches as another way to find things that interest students and, she said, "to get them to read."

She admits that inviting students into the library for lunch wasn't her idea, but that doesn't matter as long as it spikes interest in reading. Often, "the best ideas are borrowed ones," she said. "You just expand on them."

There will be a couple of more meals in the media center before the year is over. Buchnowski plans a spring poetry lunch and expects the May/June one to focus on the spring and summer seasons.

Spring Hill school's 'Lunch in the Library' program aims to spark interest in reading 03/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 5:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Editorial: UF shows how to preserve free speech


    The University of Florida was forced to navigate a treacherous terrain of constitutional concerns and public safety this week, all in a glaring public spotlight. In the end, Thursday's appearance by Richard Spencer was a success — as much as an unwelcome visit from a notorious white nationalist can be. The …

  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. Editorial: When protest leads to understanding


    The protests against racial injustice by professional athletes across the country include examples of communities where it has not been handled well. And then there is the example set in Tampa Bay.

  4. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs


    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Backlog of immigration cases under Trump stymies immigrants in Florida


    It was supposed to be a routine green card renewal for a Thai woman who has called Central Florida home for years.

    Immigration lawyers such as Gerald P. Seipp of Clearwater worry that their clients’ circumstances will change with long delays in their immigration court appeals, hurting their chances of staying in the country. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]