ucps logo

Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools

Search by Keyword

Education is like Marketing; You sometimes have to “sell” the kids on reading

Mr. Pascarella's classroom "Gutter" Book Shelves.

As you walk into Learning Cottage T17 you immediately notice the bookshelves attached to the wall. Joe Pascarella, a third grade teacher here at Rocky River Elementary School, wanted to create a bookshelf that would get his students more excited about reading. 

With an idea for bookshelves made from plastic rain gutters, Mr. Pascarella approached Lowe’s Home Improvement stores at both Charlotte and Pineville for a donation of materials. Both locations were excited to help Mr. Pascarella and donated almost $200 in materials to make his gutter bookshelf vision a reality.

Working over the summer months, Mr. Pascarella was able to build these bookshelves along two walls of his learning cottage. This provides plenty of space for students to see the many genres of books they can select.

The gutter bookshelves have worked and the students are very excited about their learning cottage. Hannah Davis states, “It’s cool because when I first walked in with my mom at Open House in August we were amazed with the bookshelves.”

Nicolas Coley said, “ It’s pretty creative and you’ve never seen anything like it in a classroom before.” Nicolas is proud of his classroom and feels that the gutter bookshelves keep their books better organized.

Parents love the bookshelves just as much as the students. They feel that they are the perfect height for students to reach and select their books. Also, the bookshelves do not take up a lot of space which gives the students more floor space in their learning cottage. Parents feel that it is a great learning environment!

Mr. Pascarella feels that reading is similar to a product. You need to market the book to the students. If they can see the cover of the book it helps “sell” the book to the reader. With the book cover facing out it draws the students to the bookshelves and grabs the attention of even the more reluctant reader and helps them find something interesting to read.


Written by: Heather Shulman, an Instuctional Assistant at Rocky River Elementary School
Posted: Nov 10, 2010 by Kristin Wiese

Back to list of stories for Union County Public Schools