Students take menus with them to record titles, or draw smiley faces for the youngest set, to remember what piqued their interest. At the end of the session, they can check books out.
“They’re very excited about checking out books, and they often come back to ask about others they’ve seen,” said Bisanti. “And when I ask if anyone saw a book they hadn’t seen before, a lot of hands go up.”
Fifth-grader Lilly Frierson admits being a big fan of mysteries, but through the Book Tastings she’s discovered a wider variety of options.
“It really opened my eyes to different genres of books,” said the 11-year-old. “Some of the books were interesting to my taste, and others weren’t, but the whole thing is about finding out what you like.”
Two books that Frierson discovered were “Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year” and “Linked.”
“The book tastings are a fun way to check out cool books and to get people to like reading,” she said.
Bisanti said the teachers also thought the idea was engaging and have repeatedly asked her to host more tastings.
“It started with just one teacher, but soon others were bringing their classes in,” she said. “It grew to maybe a couple of times a week. We’ve even had quite a few since we came back in-person this year. The teachers like that it’s a different way to introduce books to kids while at the same time reinforce what they’re learning.”
The students also look forward to the event and often ask Bisanti when the next one is coming up.
“It’s a good way to see what kind of books you might like,” said Frierson. “It’s really, really cool.”
Information about River Eves is online at fultonschools.org/rivereveses.
SEND US YOUR STORIES. Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3042.