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May 2018 Featured Library

Pond Hill Elementary School - Wallingford, CT

Melissa Dorish, the librarian from Pond Hill Elementary School, in Wallingford, Connecticut shared photos from their library and their story.

The world could use a little more kindness in it and that’s just what Melissa Dorish was hoping would happen when she created The Kindness Corner in her library. Her entire school went to see the movie Wonder in early December and soon after, she began to brainstorm ways to spread kindness, compassion, and generosity both at her school and in the community. She worked with students in 3rd grade to create public service announcements (PSA) and plays that helped students work toward being kinder to one another, both in school and outside of it.

Third graders read several of the books in The Kindness Corner, then wrote short book talks on three of the books. Next, they divided into groups to create a PSA that shared the book talks. Finally, at a town meeting with the entire school, they showed their PSA. Both teachers and students have been checking out the books in The Kindness Corner and it’s evident by the behavior and actions of the students, that many more of them are practicing kindness more often.

Thank you Melissa for sharing your story! Congratulations on winning $50 worth of books for your library.


Pond Hill Elem Pond Hill Elem



March 2018 Featured Library

Richmond Hill Elementary School - Richmond Hill, GA

Ms. Martha Bongiorno, the Library Media Specialist from Richmond Hill Elementary School, in Richmond Hill, Georgia shared photos from their library and their story.

The library at Richmond Hill Elementary is an innovative space in which students ask questions, create new learning experiences, and collaborate to deepen their knowledge of the curriculum and the world around them. It is a welcoming space in which students explore, where they become the creators of information rather than just consumers, a space that promotes a community of learners, and provides fluid, flexible learning space which offers challenging opportunities for all learners.

Each month, they host different programs that combine STEM, literacy, and collaboration in order to help ignite a passion for reading and learning. They host virtual field trips, Mystery Skypes, and author visits to help students learn, explore, and connect with audiences all around the world. Through their Makerspace, students also learn by creating their own inventions, video games, or even Christmas cards for their families. As they incorporate all of the activities into the library program, encouraging students to read is still their number one mission.

For example, in the month of December, Mrs. Bongiorno reads a book introducing penguins to students prior to starting a research project on Adelie penguins. Students used iPads to access Epic! ebooks, ThingLink, and other resources in order to learn about the penguins. Afterward, students were able to Skype with a researcher in Antarctica to share what they learned and were able to ask an expert questions they could not have found in their research materials.

In another project, she read The 12 Sleighs of Christmas about elves building a replacement sleigh for Santa and then racing their sleighs. Students collaborated in groups to build their own sleighs out of Legos and then used Sphero robots to race their sleighs through a maze.

The Richmond Hill Elementary Library is always full of life with students visiting us to use our coloring station, read ebooks on the iPads, create in their Makerspace/STEM station, or visualizing what they’re reading in their Bloxels video game station in addition to the robust learning programs they offer monthly.

Thank you Martha for sharing your story! Congratulations on winning $50 worth of books for your library.


Richmond Hill Elem Richmond Hill Elem


Richmond Hill Elem Richmond Hill Elem



January 2018 Featured Library

Walhalla Public Library - Walhalla, ND

Ms. Brenda Fletcher, the Head Librarian from Walhalla Public Library in Walhalla, North Dakota shared photos from their Halloween Bash and their story.

Walhalla Public Library has a story hour every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. The amazing people in their great little community of under 1,000 residents host the event each week. In a year’s time, they usually have a different volunteer to read every week. They always have a great time with treats, crafts, and a demonstration.

On Halloween, the book Room on a Broom was read followed by making a fun, spooky craft. Creepy crackers and witches brew were served. After story hour, they held their first ever Spooktacular Halloween Bash.

In December, Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by for a festive story hour. Mrs. Claus read The Quiltmaker's Gift to the kids. Santa and Mrs. Claus helped them make quilt squares that will be combined into a big quilt. They also enjoyed having milk and cookies with Santa.

you can learn more about their story hour and events on their facebook page: walhalla public library.

Thank you Brenda for sharing your story! Congratulations on winning $50 worth of books for your library.


Walhalla Halloween Bash



November 2017 Featured Library

Thorpe Gordon Elementary - Jefferson City, MO

Ms. Melanie Thompson, a Library Media Specialist from Thorpe Gordon Elementary in Jefferson City, Missouri shared photos of her library’s Calming Corner and their story.

She created this space where students could take a moment to calm down, reflect, and get ready to go back to the business of learning. Instructions on the wall welcome the students and direct them to breathe. They can choose an activity from the many available such as fidgets, sensory items, squeezable or stretchable items, bubbles to encourage deep breathing, and of course, library books! Ms. Thompson has found this to be very effective with the students who have visited the Calming Corner.

Thank you Melanie for sharing your story! Congratulations on winning a 3 volume set for your library.


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September 2017 Featured Library

Boston Middle School - Indiana

Rose Sgambelluri, a librarian from Boston Middle School in La Porte, IN shared photos of fun activities in the library and their story.

Every Thursday, the community-based (special ed) classes visit the library. Along with their weekly visits from Newdle, a therapy dog, there are lots of activities throughout the year that make this visit so much fun.

The latest activity is yoga story-telling. It combines (you guessed it) yoga and a story. Students love the physicality of it. They encourage each other to try new poses and enjoy hearing a story as well. It's a winner on so many levels. The students really enjoy this time in the library.

Thank you Rose for sharing your story! Congratulations on winning a $50 credit for your library.


Yoga1 Yoga2 Yoga3 Yoga4



November 2016 Featured Library

Washington County School District - Utah

Nancy McAllister, a Media Center Specialist from Washington County School District in Utah shared their library's story. To encourage reading, the library has a program called “Read Your Way to College” in which 4th and 5th grade students can earn four “reading degrees” (Associate through Doctorate). They earn rewards and "diplomas" for each degree earned.

Some of the reading requirements for the associate’s degree are to read a book of their choice that is over 100 pages, read a biography about a leader, and read a favorite picture book to someone. After completing the book, students have a form to fill out to answer questions about each book. Once they have filled out it out, they turn it in to Mrs. McAllister to earn their award and treat.

The requirements for the doctorate’s degree are more complicated. Students need to read at least 4 non-fiction books on a subject to become “an expert” in that subject and give a presentation to their class. Another requirement is to plan and carry out a reading/book event and write about their experience. Video creation is even a requirement to promote an award winning book to their class.

This is a great program to encourage reading, writing, critical thinking, and planning.

Thank you Nancy for sharing your story!


Washington County School District - Utah



September 2016 Featured Library

South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO

Heather Fitzgerald, a new librarian from South Harrison Elementary School in Bethany, MO shared photos of their library makeover. Gumdrop Books and the Fitzgerald Family Trust proudly donated $11,600 to the elementary to purchase new shelves, décor, and paint. The custodial staff, teachers, students, and friends finished the reading space just in time for the new school year. Students have been enjoying the changes to the library.

To encourage students to read at home, Mrs. Fitzgerald encourages the B.A.R.K. (Be a Reading Kid) Reading Incentive Program to earn prizes or special rewards. Students read for a certain amount of time, depending on their age, then they color in a bulldog paw print for that time spent reading. After four paw prints are colored in, they turn in the finished sheet to the librarian for their reward. This is an excellent way to promote daily reading and develop a long lasting love for reading.

Students can also check out one or two books from the library each week to bring home.

Thank you Heather for sharing your story!


South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO South Harrison Elementary School – Bethany, MO



March 2016 Featured Library

The Benjamin Lower/Middle School - North Palm Beach, FL

Susan Duncan, a librarian from The Benjamin Lower/Middle School in North Palm Beach, FL shared photos of their “Story Cottage” and the story. Each week students go to the Story Cottage, which is adjacent to the main library. The stories and decorations have a theme that changes monthly. December's theme was “Winter Wonderland”, complete with a polar bear mountain and a table for tea. Assistant Librarian, Sherrie Hornaday, and her team of volunteers create the magic.

Thank you Susan for sharing your story!


Winter Wonderland - Benjamin Lower/Middle School North Palm Beach FL Winter Wonderland - Benjamin Lower/Middle School North Palm Beach FL Winter Wonderland - Benjamin Lower/Middle School North Palm Beach FL Winter Wonderland - Benjamin Lower/Middle School North Palm Beach FL



January 2016 Featured Library

George Washington Middle School - Laredo, TX

Laura Gonzalez-Ortiz, a librarian from George Washington Middle School in Laredo, TX shared photos of her library's displays and their story. In December, the campus focused on kindness. Students were asked to write down kind deeds they can show others and added them to the Grinch board.

Students also filled up a Bingo card of kind deeds. When they filled up their card with signatures of people they did kind deeds for, they turned in their card to Laura and she gave them a sweet treat for showing kindness. A few of the spaces for the bingo card were things like read a book with someone, donate a canned food for their local food bank, meet a new person, be respectful to a teacher, and help open the door for someone. Many of these ideas come from the nationwide Choose Kind Project from the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio and their Special Olympics Meet in the Middle Program. Students were encouraged to sign the online Choose Kind pledge as well.

Library activities included the 6th graders participating in a Reader’s Theater by reading script from Stephen Krensky's How Santa Got His Job.

Thank you Laura for sharing your story!


George Washington Middle School Laredo TX George Washington Middle School Laredo TX George Washington Middle School Laredo TX George Washington Middle School Laredo TX George Washington Middle School Laredo TX George Washington Middle School Laredo TX
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