PLYMOUTH, Minn. - A crowd of students surrounds Britta Vangen at Wayzata Central Middle School in Plymouth.She's staffing a cart crammed with colorful ads.
School staff not only approve, they are hoping kids will take those ads and plaster them on their lockers.
"We are a school that features literacy in all its forms," explained media specialist Judith Rodgers, Ph.D. "We have a special time every day that's set aside for silent reading, and we have a very high circulation of reading resources."
In order to boost circulation further, Rodgers has instituted the locker ad program. Students are her customers, and her creative team.
"We are making locker ads so we can advertise books that we really like so that other kids in the school can enjoy the same books," said 7th grader Kush Maheshwari.
Maheshwari and two other students are churning out ads in the media center for books they've recently read. They are also consumers.
"When I walk down the hallway, I look at people's lockers, because they give me ideas of books to read," said sixth grader Abby Larson.
One major stipulation for the ads is that the book has to be available in the school's media center. "So people can find them," said Arin Anderson, whose a veteran at making ads. "I'm trying to show the personality of the book," she said.
The ads were so popular last year, Rodgers found ads plastered on some lockers from the ceiling and onto the floor. "We've asked them not to do that this year," she laughed.
That being said, Rodgers is hoping students will see the ads as a way for students to get book suggestions from their peers, and also as an opportunity to show off a little.
"If you're a reader, shouldn't you also have the opportunity to shine, and say, 'Yes, I am a reader, and I'm proud of it.'"