By Louise Borden ABOUT THE BOOK Through their early morning contact with the school custodian, Zack and Gracie learn of his commitment to his job and their school. Together they devise a plan to recognize his hard work. THEMES Work ethic; Craftsmanship; Careers; Recognition of work; Awards DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - What job skills does a custodian need? - What are the responsibilities of a custodian? - What does the word custodian mean? - Why did Gracie and Zack follow Mr. Carillo around the school? - Why did Dublin School decide to honor Mr. Carillo? ACTIVITIES - Ask a custodian or custodial supervisor to talk with students about job requirements for a custodian. Discuss workload, hours, safety issues, areas of expertise, level of education, and additional training required. - Initiate a discussion with students about respect for work done in various other departments of the school (food service, transportation, office staff, health services, as well as custodial). - Utilize another title from the list below and compare/contrast the point of view of the main character(s) to Zack and Gracie in The A+ Custodian. Repeat the compare/contrast activity for the value placed on the work done by custodial staff. Custodians by Debbie Yanuck Custodian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler The Janitor's Boy by Andrew Clements Feet in the Gym by Teri Daniels
FOLLOW UP Allow students to plan and execute a recognition day for custodial and/or other support staff. Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.