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ECC Students Vote for Winners of Panda Book Awards

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At BCIS, it is our mission to challenge and empower students, especially from an early age. Every opportunity is utilized to meet this mission, including the wonderful Panda Book Awards. Ten years ago, the Beijing Librarians Network (BJLN) founded these annual awards as a way to not only share their love for books and recognize published works with a truly powerful impact on students, but also to inspire the youth to bury their noses in amazing stories and go an exciting reading adventures, all while having fun learning.

Students from all school divisions at BCIS have participated in the selection of winners for the Panda Book Awards for many years now. However, it is the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students at the ECC that have had the greatest opportunity to have the program incorporated in their daily learning, according to ECC Teacher Librarian Mrs. Suzanne McKemey. Not only have the young readers been actively engaged in reading the ten books selected for this year’s awards on a weekly basis, they have also been learning many valuable life lessons, including what “voting” is and the importance of this act, as well as taking ownership of their decisions. In addition, they have learned how the world of books works beyond the reading that is involved. For example, the young learners understand that an author’s name comes first before an illustrator’s (unless one person has done both jobs), but they also know both are equally important roles in the formation of stories. Through this, in fact, they have come to recognize certain names of authors and illustrators that have appeared in previous programs or as part of multiple entries. Their learning beyond books does not stop here and actually extends to later grade levels, where students learn about signs and symbols as part of their “How We Express Ourselves” Unit of Inquiry. Therefore, they are able to continue to make connections with what they are being taught to the real world.

Regarding the Panda book awards, the furry animal was selected to be the program’s mascot because it “holds a special place in the hearts of the Chinese people and is a symbol of peace and a token of forging friendly ties,” according to the program’s official website. That is why when children enter a library, many look for a Gold Panda (representing winning entries) or Silver Panda (representing nominees) sticker since they know these represent the best of the best books out there for them to read. This also helps them easily know which books are part of the awards so they can vote for a winner based on their preferences.

As part of the voting process, students and teachers from international schools in China and around the world are invited to vote for their favorite books published during the last two years. The Panda Book Steering Committee, which is comprised of an international representation of school librarians, possesses the responsibility for collecting input from schools, advertising the awards, and organizing the voting. Four separate categories are in place according to age level:

  • Young Readers (4 to 6 years)
  • Middle Readers (7 to 10 years)
  • Older Readers (11 to 14 years)
  • Mature Readers (15 to 18 years)

Among this year’s recommendations, the titles “Wolfie the Bunny,” “Do Not Open This Book,” and “We’re All Wonders” have been the most popular with students. Each has its own unique style and powerful message to share with readers. Please stay tuned to see which book will reign supreme this year!


BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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