Teacher Talk by Kim Jones
Elsberry Schools are very fortunate to have two very knowledgeable ladies, Cheri Rountree and Karin Busiere, presiding over the bookshelves in their respective libraries, Elementary and MS/HS Library.
Elementary Library students have various programs at different grades to follow for awesome reading choices. Students in the first through third grades students have begun reading the 10 Show Me Readers Award Nominees. Along with other first and third graders across the state, they will choose their favorite book. They vote by ballot in March and learn of the winner in April. This award is coveted by children’s authors because they know that they have reached their target audience.
In fourth grade, students are listening to one of the Mark Twain Award Nominees during library sessions. They will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite in the spring, provided they complete four of the 12 books. Fourth grade students who read 10 nominees or 10 award-winning books may take a trip to the Children’s Literature Festival in March. Those reading all 12 of the 2013-2014 nominees will celebrate with a party in the library. These programs teach all students about the power of the ballot box and the importance of reading. Ms. Rountree believes that just 20 minutes of reading a day improves reading scores markedly. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, sibling, relative or friend, you can make a difference in a child’s life by reading with them every day.
No one stays busier at Elsberry schools, than Ms. Busiere, a.k.a. Ms. B to all the students. All teachers are encouraged to use the library for any assignments if they need it as a resource. But all Communication Arts teachers are bringing kids to the library, grades 7-12, once a week or every other week to reinforce reading emphasis of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Then if content area teachers request, she can assist to help follow requirements for writing assignments across the curriculum which includes research and general writing.
She wouldn’t be a good librarian is she didn’t encourage students who come to the library to read, especially in the area of non-fiction. Ms. B continues to add new fiction and non-fiction to the collection of books. The numbers of titles in collections are right up there with DESE requirements. Students and teachers continue to have access to computers in the library, (desktop and laptop), also.
Several groups are fortunate to have Ms. B as their leader this year. This year she is sponsor of National Honor Society, Student Senate and High School Book Club, alias, “Literati Club”. The Literati club has a full membership of 20 students this year. FOEL will purchase free books for each member, starting with The 5th Wave.
Events that Ms. B is coordinating at this time include: Penny Wars coming in November. This is where each classroom collects change, with a pizza party going to the top fundraising class. The goal this year is to get one free book for each kid grades 4 – 11, provided there’s enough funding. Friends of Elsberry Literacy (FOEL) are hosting the event, but Elsberry district’s kids will benefit. The Holiday Book Fair will be the week following Thanksgiving. Last year Elsberry Schools received $600 in free books as result of sales.
And to think that one stereotype of librarians is that all they do is read. Follow these two ladies around for one day and one will see that this stereotype does not hold true in the Elsberry Schools.
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