Judy Deichman receives AASL Innovative Reading Grant

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/10/2018


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)



CHICAGO – Judy Deichman, school librarian at Nottoway Middle School in Crewe, Virginia, is the recipient of the 2018 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Innovative Reading Grant. Sponsored by Capstone, the $2,500 grant supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.

The goal of Deichman’s program, Nottoway Book-A-Way Summer Bookmobile, is to prevent summer slide and provide access to book for students who do not have the means to go to a library during the summer months. The program allows students the chance to pick out a book to keep in their home library and check out another book to read and return. Deichman plans to entice readers with activities and books tied back to a weekly theme such as “Minecraft Mania,” “Popsicle Palooza” and "Pamper Your Pets."

“Studies and test data has shown that the students of Nottoway County have experienced a reduction of their reading levels every summer break,” Deichman explained in her application. “To try and prevent this, we have opened our school libraries during the summer months. Unfortunately, this has not rectified the problem as most of our students do not have the means or transportation to get to the school libraries. The majority of our students also do not have books available to them at home as more than 66 percent of our students qualify for free/reduced lunches and the median income of the county is $23,000.”

"Judy has worked tirelessly over the last few years to see her dream of a bookmobile become a reality," wrote Karla Collins, assistant professor of school librarianship at Longwood University, in a letter of support. "She saw a need for children in the rural Virginia community and she devised a plan to acquire a large vehicle and set up a bookmobile. Through her hard work and determination, the bookmobile has been running successfully for a couple of years. There is no doubt Judy will use the grant funds to supplement and improve her services to her students and their families."

The AASL award winners will be honored at the AASL Awards Ceremony & President’s Program during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The ceremony will be held from 9 a.m. – noon on Saturday, June 23. All are welcome to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during this recognition event.

The American Association of School Librarians www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.