A special thanks to Lorie Steed, library media coordinator at Central Davidson High School, for this wonderful summary of events held in her school library to celebrate School Library Month.
April is the month of .. a lot of things. Not only is it School Library Month, National Poetry Month, and Autism Awareness Month, it’s also the month in which we Drop Everything and Read (April 12), recognize Earth Day (April 22), and advocate for Financial Literacy, among other things. In fact, there’s so much going on in April that it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to figure out exactly what--and how--to celebrate. At the same time, April provides great opportunities to connect the school library program with other worthwhile initiatives and to truly transform learning.
Here’s what and how we’re celebrating at Central Davidson High School this month:
Autism Awareness: We set up a display in the library to highlight fiction and nonfiction titles on autism, and put out bookmarks and crossword puzzles to raise awareness. We also showed a couple of Ted Talks in which young people on the spectrum share their inspiring stories. Finally, we used our school’s social media presence to educate the wider community by sharing useful links and our school’s efforts, including these great displays created by our cafeteria staff.
Drop Everything and Read Day: During their 30-minute activity period, students were invited to come to the library to read, find something to read, or rediscover their love of reading by listening to children’s books read aloud by actors such as Betty White at Storyline Online. Many students who loved reading or being read to when they were younger lose that love as they get older, so it’s especially important to give them opportunities to get lost in a story again.
Financial Literacy Month: April is a great time to connect with business teachers and provide students with an opportunity to show off their financial literacy skills. Check out these pics of our Business and Finance students putting their banking skills into practice on the SMART Board. We shared these on social media so everyone can see what great things go on in our classrooms, this month and every month.
Earth Day: Earth Day provides another opportunity to extend the learning already going on in classrooms. Since our Life Skills class recently started a community garden, we wanted to showcase their work in the library. After collaborating with the LIfe Skills teacher, we decided on a display that will include creations by her students--painted flower pots and bird feeders--and provide other students with information about how they can make their own similar creations.
National Poetry Month: I showed my student media assistants how to create poems inspired by artwork on Storybird, and posted these on social media to share how students can write and share their own poems in celebration of National Poetry Month.
Guest Speaker: A graduate and previous student media assistant is coming back to CDHS to talk about his love of graphic novels, why students should read them, and how they turned him into a lifelong reader.
A Time to Reflect: April is a great time to reflect on the library program and make improvements. When no one noticed our Autism display at first, we realized we needed to move our display area to a more prominent location. Since it’s nearing the end of the year and it’s been a while since I checked in on my SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) students, I visited classes to survey them on favorite genres so I know how to plan book purchases for next year. When I asked students to give feedback on what library programs they’ve most enjoyed and what future programming they’d like to see, I got a variety of answers, which is a good reminder to offer a mix of programming opportunities in the library--and to let those who want to color, play games, or read do their own thing.
All in all, it’s been a busy month, but I’ve learned a lot, and I hope our students and teachers have too.
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