Monday, March 31, 2014

Schools - Howdy Pardner!

Schools are a vital part of great service to school age children. By partnering and working with school colleagues, public libraries can find wonderful ways to reach out to kids in school and make the library connection.  Some of the ideas - both tested and blue-skyed  - that the class shared:

Pie the principal: I reached out to 5 principals at our local elementary schools to see if they are game to enhance participation in our Summer Reading Program  by introducing a friendly wager. We'll track which school participants are from and the winning school will receive a special activity in their media center/library (this element, offered to everyone) but the winning school will receive a special bonus of their Principal getting a pie in the face (or some other silly memorable thing). Some of my principals are game, one was not excited to get pied, so we are going to frame it up as the Cat in the Hat will play a trick at the school  and customize the silly prize at each school.(thus, we don't exclude any schools from participating and put the principals at ease)

Adopt a Grade Currently our elementary schools send every 3rd grade class to the art museum that is on the block next door. I'd like to adopt a grade and them come for a field trip adventure. Still a work in progress.

Literary Awards Our school media specialists/ librarians have been promoting the Maud Hart Lovelace award in March so we have been holding a Voting Gala prior to the award announcing the winner. We have book marks with the nominees listed and ask for readers to read at least 3 before voting for their favorites. We have had a steady hold list for these items (and the nominees are excellent). The school Media specialists help lead a discussion, serve snacks, and set up a voting box  with a big reveal of the local winner. Last year, we only had 1 school participating, this year we are working with 4!

Building Blocks Through perserverence on my part we now have a great relationship with teachers, principals, media specialists, ciriculum directors, PTA's, etc.  It took cultivation and time but it was all worth it!  I do need to find the balance of time between in house and outreach. I don't hesitate to ask for assistance from the experts in our schools to help with Library programming which includes Technology Workshops, science help for the upcoming SLP theme, supply needs from Art and PhyEd teachers, etc.

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