Saint John Academy’s library offers 15,000 volumes, and a variety of reading programs including Battle of the Books, Bookworm Club, Junior Great Books and monthly research questions. An easy-to-use catalog search engine is installed on computers. Screened Internet access is also available on all the computers.
Battle of the Books is a 5th and 6th grade reading club that meets in the library once a week to discuss one of the 15 total books the club members must read during the school year. Each member provides 10 questions/answers based on the reading of the week and use these to quiz their fellow club members. The meetings always include a snack that integrates the theme of the book. At the end of the year, the students join a diocese wide competition among the other Catholic schools. The competition tests the club members with detailed questions on all the books they read during the school year. In the past fifteen years we have joined this competition, Saint John Academy brought home the Battle of the Books Champion trophy four times, and every year our club members are given top honors in the individual categories.
Bookworm Club is open to students in grades 1-4 and is open to all readers who commit to reading at home for at least 20 minutes a day, as verified by their parents. Members meet once a month for a lively lunchtime discussion about their favorite books. In the spring there is a final party for children who have attended at least three bookworm club meetings.
The Junior Great Books program is open to students in Grades 1-4. Students are selected, based on reading and comprehension skills, to participate in reading classic fables and stories from around the world. Under the guidance of a trained adult leader, they pursue “shared inquiry,” that includes discussion, written answers, illustrations and sometimes putting on a play. SJA Battle of the Books champions from the 5th and 6th grades usually have started practicing their advanced reading, writing and discussion skills in Junior Great Books.