The library at Rowen Elementary School in North Philadelphia is musty and outdated – a locked room used for storage and occasional meetings, a repository of yellowing, untouched books.
But Callie Hammond has big dreams for the room, whose leather-bound encyclopedias were printed in 1986, the year she was born.
Hammond sees the West Oak Lane public school as a launching pad for Library Build, a nonprofit group she recently started to renovate and staff school libraries with fellows in the Teach for America model.
The plan is to start in city elementary schools with no library. Library Build would recruit and pay library science graduates in exchange for a two-year service commitment to city schools.
“Libraries do amazing things,” said Hammond, who was a Philadelphia School District middle school teacher until she was laid off in June.
Research shows that library access matters. Students who have a library at school tend to perform better on assessments than those who do not. Libraries can encourage children to love reading and think of it not just as a chore to be handled in the classroom.
When Hammond was laid off from teaching social studies and science to nonnative English speakers at Wilson Middle School at the end of last school year, she figured it was time to work on Library Build full time.
These days, she divides her time between working on grant applications – Library Build received its first award, $10,000 from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation – and organizing the collection at Rowen. She is also studying for her master’s degree in public administration at the University of Pennsylvania.
More on this inspirational young woman from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
From the OC Register: In California, as we plod through this not-so-great recession, there are two kinds of education-related cost cuts in play – the sexy kind and the not-so-sexy kind.
Any reduction in spending that might crank up the number of kids in a third-grade classroom, for example, is easy for parents and other tax payers to understand. Same for cuts that wipe out arts classes or PE or, the latest craze, several school days a year.
Teacher Librarian Marie Slim dresses the part of “rock star” during her “Read Like a Rock Star” 2009 book fair at Troy High School to raise funds for new books.
All those cuts, popular or not, attract attention and debate. In short, they’re sexy.
But farther down on the radar is another kind of cost cutting – the one that wipes out the often stereotyped resource known as the school librarian.
We all know the images of the school librarian. She shushes. She shelves. She sits, quietly, behind a desk. Dewey Decimal anyone?
But head into Orange County’s school libraries and you’ll discover what [this OC Register reporter] found: passionate, dedicated, tech-savvy teacher librarians.
(GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — City National Bank today announced that it is now accepting applications for grants to support literacy-based projects at public and private elementary, middle and high schools in California, Nevada and New York.
Educators interested in applying for a literacy grant can access an online application by visiting www.readingisthewayup.org/literacy.asp. Any full-time teacher, librarian or administrator at schools in counties where City National has offices is eligible to apply. California counties include Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura. The Nevada counties are Carson City, Clark, Douglas and Washoe.
Approximately 100 grants totaling up to $75,000 may be awarded. Grants will provide up to $500 for the recipients to create, augment or expand literacy projects that are judged to be creative and engaging, and that may help improve student achievement.
More details here.