This article addresses another aspect of communal development: creating a community of readers that is school-wide in character. For most of this century, educators have taught reading as isolated sets of skills to be mastered and then applied incontext. Students’ mastery of these language fragments has been managed through individualized programs, ability groups, or whole group “tracking.” Little attention, however, has been given to the creation of reading communities that go beyond the work of individual teachers inside each classroom. We see the need to explore learning opportunities for young readers in a broader context that includes the principal, all teachers, all students, and their parents. We believe schools should be more than the aggregation of classrooms that are connected by hallways. Schools are places that can foster a clear sense of community that encompasses staff, students, and parents. There is no better topic for building school-wide community than the joys and excitement of reading. We report on several recent endeavors to build communities of readers.
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