How to Get Started

1. Go to the homepage, and click "Join Today." This will place your school on an email distribution list so you will receive announcements.

2. Consider pitching the COCBA program to your PTO. They can support the program by purchasing a set of the nominees for each classroom. Parents can donate wrapping paper and volunteers can gift wrap all the books. To garner excitement, give each class a gift at the end of your lesson (the gift being the book read and evaluated in that lesson). The students love receiving a gift for the classroom each week and classrooms develop a collection great mentor texts.

3. Set-aside 8-10 weeks to administer the program. This is a great activity to do during the final trimester. It revitalizes the school community at that time of year! Each week, introduce one title to students during their library media class. Read the text aloud, noting elements within the text that support our judging criteria. The students may then use their scoring packets (see Padlet). Prior to the kickoff, you may wish to make scoring packets for each student and keep the packets in the media center until the program is over. You can extend the read aloud with a supplemental activity or share an idea with a classroom teacher to continue in the class. The committee will announce opportunities to Skype with an author or illustrator, or another participating school in order to discuss the text further.

4. Create a bulletin board display, tweet, and post about activities during the program.

5. After reading all eight nominees, review the scoring packets with the students who review them and rank the nominees. Provide students with a frame for writing an opinion piece to support their vote. We set-up a google form for voting and share it with all participants (the voting form is usually released late Spring).

6. The last week of school, you may wish to play a Battle of the Books.


7. The last week of school, we celebrate the winning author. In the past, we have invited the winner to CT--often the following September/October.