Waupaca High School’s celebration of Teen Read Week included zombies, hotdogs that looked like fingers and a wide selection of books.
This year’s theme was “It came from the library,” and for Heidi Nowicki, there was no shortage of ideas to fit that theme.
“With high school kids, it’s tricky to find something they want to be involved in,” said Nowicki, library media specialist at the WHS.
When Nowicki, who is in her first year at the high school, decided to celebrate “Teen Read Week,” she opened up the possibilities to her colleagues at WHS.
“I put the word out to the English teachers and encouraged them to share their favorite, spooky books,” she said.
The English teachers were not the only ones she talked to about it.
“We have such great resources at the high school,” Nowicki said.
She did not think it should be something being celebrated and worked on by just the library’s staff.
“I put out feelers, and others wanted to help,” she said.
That included Monica Reeves, Ronda Gustke, Ann Schwalenberg and Mark Polebitski.
Nowicki found recipes online. Schwalenberg and Gustke added to them, and soon appetizers were planned for Friday, Oct. 19, which was the final day of the week-long celebration.
Students prepared the items and delivered them to the library in time for each of the three lunch periods.
Then, students were able to enjoy the snacks and choose a book or two.
Earlier in the week, Reeve’s theater students came into the library and did theater make-up during the lunch hours.
Of course, it also followed the ghoulish theme.
Students also got to turn Barbies into zombies, and Nichole Thorne, one of Polebitski’s graphics design students, designed buttons for “Teen Read Week” that said, “Zombies Love a Girl with Brains.”
She also designed a version for the guys.
Ellen Davis, owner of Dragonwings Bookstore in downtown Waupaca, donated coupons for free books.
A table near the library’s entrance was full of books, chosen particularly because they fit this year’s theme.
By the end of the week, more books had to be added – something Nowicki was happy to see.
“Teen Read Week” is always held during the third week of October.
It is a national event, promoted by the Young Adult Library Services Association, which is an offshoot of the American Library Association.
The idea is to promote school and public libraries.
“I’ve been very, very happy with the support and the collaboration and the excitement level,” said Nowicki. “It’s different than anything we’ve ever done before.”
She said more students visited the library, thanks to what they heard from other students who participated in the activities.
Other library-related events held each year included “Banned Books Week” and “National Library Week.”
Those are other possible events that could be celebrated at WHS.
“It’s fun to do things every year,” Nowicki said.