Snow is falling, and books are calling!



Too cold to go to the library?  No problem! A new ebook service called, Epic! will bring the library to your child! Think of it as a Netflix for children's ebooks with thousands of high quality books. The service is $4.99 a month, but there is a 60 day free trial which will hopefully get us to warmer weather! Please click the link above, or contact Mrs. Geidner ( for more details.

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  • February 2-February 6: Coin Wars & Bubble Gum Day were a huge success! Click this link to watch a highlight video: Bubble Gum Day 2015!  Thank you for supporting our therapy dogs from Adventures With Bailey!
  • February 20th: SIX FLAGS READ TO SUCCEED FORMS DUE! (Grades k-6)
  • March 2nd: National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) 2015


  • March 9th: Award winning author, Dav Pilkey & Caldecott award winning illustrator Dan Santat, will be presenting together for grades k-3!
  • Early March: Monarch Voting (Grades k-3)
  • Mid March-Early April: Reading March Madness!

The Fall Season is Full of Treats in the ITC!

d3 Students, staff and parents at Avoca West came together with 1,884,017 participants from 84 countries around the world on September 15th-ish to celebrate International Dot Day! Here is a video that captured some of the ways in which we made our mark. Watch for the next edition of The Vision for more highlights!

The Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

Celebrate your love of books this fall by decorating a pumpkin for the
5th annual Avoca West Library "Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest."
Enjoy this video of last year's entries!

Pumpkin Contest Rules:

One entry per child/group. (one entry=one book display)
Pumpkins may be created individually, with friends, or as a family.
Pumpkins must be decorated in a way that represents a book or book character.
Pumpkin cannot be carved.
Bring your decorated pumpkin to school anytime during the month of October.
Students and teachers will be voting during the last week of October.
Pumpkins need to be taken home on Halloween.

Battle of the Books!

Recently the school liaison from the Glenview Public Library came to talk with our 4th and 5th graders about the Battle of the Book program. Registration begins online on Wednesday, Oct. 1st. Visit this link for more information, and to view the 2015 book list. I look forward to cheering on many Avoca West students in the next few months as they prepare for battle! Please let me know if I can answer any questions. GO VIKING READERS!

The PTC/ITC Book Fair is coming!

We are beyond excited to again be using Anderson's to host our fair this fall from October 20th-23rd! Watch for flyers to come home with students soon, as well as more details both on the PTC website and in the Thursday blasts. The fair is always a big hit with students, staff, and family alike and we are so grateful to the PTC for making it possible!

Author Visits!

Accomplished author, David Adler, visits with kindergarten-2nd Graders on November 11th! Visit Mr. Adler's Website to learn more about him in preparation for this wonderful visit sponsored by The Book Stall in Winnetka!

New York Times best selling author, Chris Grabenstein, will present to 3rd-6th Graders also on November 11th! In addition to his American Library Association notable award winning book, Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Mr. Grabenstein has written: The Riley Mack Adventure series, and The Haunted Mystery series. He has also co-authored The Treasure Hunter series, The I Funny series, and Daniel X: Armageddon with best selling author, James Patterson. This visit is generously sponsored by our fabulous PTC.

There is no better way to learn about the writing process than interacting with authors! We are very fortunate to have these two accomplished authors coming to share both their secrets, and their passion, with our students! Watch for order forms for signed books from both authors to come home soon!




Summer’s here! Get lost in a book!

summer reading

Summer is here, and there is no better time to get lost in a great book! I have attached several reading lists with suggested titles. Future 6th graders can't go wrong by getting a head start on some of the titles from the 2015 Rebecca Caudill list. Likewise, future 3rd-5th graders can start reading books from the Bluestem list to prepare for a brand new reading challenge coming to the ITC next fall! The 2015 Battle of the Books (BOB) list should be out any day now, for future 4th & 5th graders who are thinking of participating in that program and want to get a head start! (More info about BOB can be found on Glenview public library's website-see link below.)

2015 Caudill List
2015 Bluestem List
Battle of the Books

Still looking for more reading fun? Try some of these links to area reading programs, ebooks, more lists, games, author visits, and more!
Book recommendations & resources for parents:
More book recommendations & contests:
Book reviews by kids for kids:
Tumblebook ebooks: (Username: avocawest Password: books)
Sylvan Dell ebooks:
Free online summer reading club:
Free Barnes & Noble book
Author & book events at The Book Stall in Winnetka:

In addition, don't forget to sign up for any of the amazing summer reading programs at the Glenview, Winnetka, Northfield, and Wilmette public libraries!

I hope you will find these resources to be helpful!

As always, I love to receive photos of kids reading in unique places! Snap a picture of your reader and email it to me to be included in a special back to school display!

It's been another great year in the ITC filled with great books and your wonderful children!!   Best wishes for a summer full of great stories, imagination, and adventure!

Mrs. Geidner

Reading in a Winter Wonderland!


Bubble Gum Day! 

indexDuring the week of February 3rd, we will be preparing for National Bubble Gum Day which is on Friday, Feb. 7th. Bubble Gum Day was created by local author, Ruth Spiro, in 2006. On Bubble Gum Day, students who donate .50 cents, will receive a piece of gum and the privilege to chew their gum in school. (Students will receive 3 pieces for $1.00.)

Mrs. Spiro will visit Avoca West to present to 1st-5th grade students at 2:00 on 2/7. Kindergarten students and their parents are welcome to join the presentation. If you would like to order a signed/personalized copy of Mrs. Spiro's book, Lester Fizz Bubble-Gum Artist, please print and return the form below by Jan. 24th.

Bubble Gum Day book order form

Start searching for coins! During the week leading up to Bubble Gum Day, we will have daily coin wars. Students may bring coins to school each morning and deposit them in the jar of their choice. (Jars will be located in the gym until 8:20, and then in the ITC.) Winning jars will be announced the following day on ionavoca. The battles will be as follow:

  • Monday 2/3 Penny Day! Students vs Staff!
  • Tuesday 2/4 Nickel Day! Fiction vs Non-fiction!
  • Wednesday 2/5 Dime Day! Grades k-2 vs Grades 3-5!
  • Thursday 2/6 Quarter Day! Cubs vs Sox!
  • Friday 2/7 Anything goes (coins, bills, checks*)! Boys vs Girls! *Checks should be made out to "Adventures with Bailey."

All money collected will be donated to Adventures With Bailey. This organization donates their time to Avoca West on a weekly basis by bring their certified therapy dogs to the library to read with students. We are so appreciative of their services!

Think Summer! Think Six Flags!

6 flags CaptureSix Flags reading forms are due on Friday, Feb. 28th. I have already received a great deal of completed forms, and am thrilled to see so many Avoca readers that are excited to participate in this program! More information and a link to the reading log is below.

Read to Succeed Parent Letter

Read to Succeed Student Reading Log

Battle of the Books!

Good luck to all of our 4th and 5th graders that are participating in the Battle of the Books! You have all worked so hard to prepare! I know that you will do great at your upcoming meets, and will represent Avoca West with pride!

Mrs. Geidner

October was full of treats in the ITC!

Book Fair a huge success!

A new vendor, moving the book fair to conference week, and tremendous support from families and staff all contributed to make this year's book fair one of our best ever! Thank you so much to each of you who volunteered your time, especially my co-chair, Heather Hester! The library is so lucky to have such a dedicated group of parents!

4th Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest Breaks Records!

78 pumpkins decorated by 104 Avoca students and their families created a festive atmosphere all month in the ITC! Each and every pumpkin was unique, and seeing the pride on each students face was priceless. To quote one wise student, "It doesn't matter who wins, it's just really fun!" Enjoy this video demonstrating what a creative bunch of kids we have!


Student Created Note Cards Now Available!

With help from Avoca parent, Jennifer Volkadov, each grade level recently created a scene from our school that features individual student self-portraits. They are beautiful! The full-size art work will be framed and displayed in the library, but note card sets will be available to purchase throughout the year. Please use the attached order form and/or contact me with any questions. Orders will be filled on a monthly basis, and proceeds will support the library.


Looking Ahead...

In the weeks ahead we are looking forward to welcoming our therapy dogs back, kicking off a genre challenge called "RINGO" for 3rd graders, helping 4th & 5th graders prepare for Battle of the Books, and exploring this years Monarch Award nominees with our kindergarten-2nd grade students.  A special thanks to the following Avoca parents & community members: Lynn Pikhotz, Bas Metti, Mike Lepley, and Alanna Gordan. Your help in the library each week is so greatly appreciated!



The Great ITC Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

Celebrate your love of books this fall by decorating a pumpkin for the
4th annual Avoca West Library "Great Pumpkin Decorating Contest."
Enjoy this video of last year's entries!

Pumpkin Contest Rules:
One entry per child. (one entry=one book display)
Pumpkins may be created individually, with friends, or as a family.
Pumpkins must be decorated in a way that represents a book or book character.
Pumpkin cannot be carved.
Bring your decorated pumpkin to school anytime during the month of October.
Students and teachers will be voting during the last week of October.
Pumpkins need to be taken home between 10/31-11/1.
Winners to be announced on Halloween!

Avoca West Celebrates International Dot Day!

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"International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

And each year on International Dot Day the inspiration continues. What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world as people of all ages re-discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do."(

This will be our 2nd year celebrating Dot Day in the library at Avoca West, and I couldn't be more excited! Follow us on Twitter (@AvocaWestITC) and/or check back here next week for lots of "dotty" photos and videos!

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Welcome to the Avoca West Library!

My assistant, Barbara Vogelstein, and I are geared up for a great year of reading, learning and fun with both returning, and new Avoca West students! Volunteers are always welcome to come in whenever it's convenient for you to help with shelving. In addition I would love to have some kindergarten and 1st grade parent volunteers to help with students while they are in the library. Please email me if you are interested in either/both of these opportunities.

This year we have a new friend in the library, and students are voting on his/her name. In the meantime he/she is enjoying listening to some wonderful readers!

We are hoping to begin book checkout in the next 2 weeks. Please let me know at any time throughout the year if I can help you find books, resources, answer questions, etc...!


Susan Geidner
ITC Director

Marvelous May in the ITC!


May is a busy time in the ITC as we track down library items in preparation for summer. It is always a little sad seeing favorite titles get shelved for the long break, but we are also very excited to start preparing for all of the new things we have in store for next year!

Important dates:

  • Saturday, May 11th: Heather Hester & Larissa Petrakis will host our first Dollie and Me tea to benefit the ITC! (Advanced reservations required.) Pictures coming soon!
  • Friday, May 17th: Last day for student checkout.
  • Friday, May 24th: ALL ITC materials due!

We will soon be sending notices for those that have late materials. If your child has lost an item, the cost to replace it will be noted. We appreciate your prompt payment for any lost items as it gives us time to re-order titles for the fall. (Please do not purchase and send in your own replacement copy, as we buy library bound editions that come to us pre-processed.) Checks can be made out to "Avoca School District 37." The first grade level to return/pay for all of their materials will get dibs on new books in the fall!

Check back in June for information about summer reading programs and suggested reading lists!

2nd Grade Picture Book Chalk Drawings:

The Haunted Toy Chest:

This is a book written by Jonathan Rand, author of the very popular American Chillers series, that is being published one chapter at at a time for students through schools.  Check back weekly to read along! Students can turn completed activity pages into the ITC for bonus points!
THTC-Chapter 1
THTC-Chapter 2
THTC-Chapter 3
THTC-Chapter 4
THTC-Chapter 5
THTC-Chapter 6
THTC-chapter 7
THTC-chapter 8
THTC chapter 9
THTC chapter 10
THTC Chapter 11
THTC Chapter 12
THTC Chapter 13
THTC-Chapter 14
THTC-Chapter 15
THTC-chapter 16
THTC-chapter 17
THTC-chapter 18
THTC-chapter 19