E.T. Crowle P.S. READy, Set, Read Library Revitalization Project
Karen Hicks, Tania Jenkins, Rose White
E.T. Crowle Public School
October 25, 2012
More than 1,000
Overview:“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero
Objective:To REVITALIZE our school library –the heart and soul of our school.
E.T. Crowle Public School is 27 years old and is located in Markham, ON. Our library is the centre (and heart) of our wonderful school. Currently, our school population is just over 300, with students ranging from grades JK to Grade 8. Our library, much like the day it first opened, remains a constant hive of activity. Our library is constantly in use by our students who represent our diverse multi-cultural community, our autism class, teachers preparing lessons with other teachers from neighbouring schools for professional development, parents, and community members. Due to the fact that our library is, quite literally, the central “hub” of the school, it allows access and visibility from almost every other part of the building. We take great pride in this vibrant space, but since it is in constant use and because of the sheer age of the materials within, our library requires some attention to ensure that it continues to play an integral role in the development and maintenance of literacy skills in our community.
Our library is in great need of revitalization. The book inventory has become outdated and, in many cases, the books are damaged beyond repair. As is reflected in the wonderful mosaic of cultures, interests, beliefs, and levels of ability that make up our student population, so should our collection of books. Similarly, in our current social climate, many parents and community members look to our school library to provide resource material on parenting, curriculum support, and even finance. Finally, we do not have adequate shelving to house and display our books, a problem resulting in further wear and tear on existing materials. We are appealing to the AVIVA Community Fund to assist us in replenishing, renewing, and revitalizingour school library with updated, engaging, and inclusive books for to support the development of literacy, the quest for knowledge, the understanding of curriculum, and the pursuit of just pure reading enjoyment.
1. To drastically increase our book/resource inventory with current, inclusive, relevant, age-appropriate, and engaging titles including fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, teacher/professional development texts, and parent resource materials.
2. To purchase additional shelving, display units for featured materials, and suitable supplies for repairing damaged books
3.To create welcoming and comfortable reading nooks where students can independently read, share a book with a friend, or be read to as a class.
Sustainability is a key piece of our proposal. Granted a “healthy school” designation within York Region in 2010, our students are not only taught how to keep their bodies healthy (proper nutrition and exercise), they are taught how to keep our beautiful planet healthy (through the use of the 3 R’s – renew, reuse, and recycle). Materials used in the repair of damaged books would permit older books to be “renewed” and, subsequently, “reused.” Severely outdated and/or damaged materials will be recycled by York Region’s state-of-the-art recycling centre. Additional shelving units would permit the maintenance and preservation of both existing and new books for many, many years to come. Teaching our current students how to treat books with the respect they deserve, ensures that our library books will be enjoyed and cherished by not only the 300 children who attend E.T. Crowle today, but by our future “bookworms” as well. Finally, the word “sustainable,” while mainly discussed in today’s climate as relating to environmental commitments, can also be defined as something that endures. We strongly believe in the enduring power of books to direct, determine, or even re-direct a child’s future. Now, while our students will only spend a maximum of 10 years within the magical walls of our school library, we sincerely hope that the knowledge gathered during those years will help sustain these learners throughout the rest of their lives. Our library book and resource inventory is the key to sustaining each student's love for reading. We are committed to working with our teachers, support staff and students to ensure that our new book selection will grow with each student from the moment they walk into our school in Junior Kindergarten until they graduate in Grade 8.
Literacy is one of the most important skills that a child will acquire in his/her lifetime. American President Barack Obama recently stated, "At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It's an enormous force for good." We couldn’t agree more. As educators and parents in the E.T. Crowle community, it is our emphatic wish to nurture and instill a life-long love of reading in each and every student before they graduate. Keeping more than 300 students of many different ages, cultures, and reading ability (not to mention gender differences and genre preferences) engaged and enthusiastic requires current, thought-provoking, and inclusive materials. A revitalized library full of updated books, resources, and other reading materials would fundamentally support the students at E.T. Crowle by encouraging each and every one to “Reach for the Stars.”
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr. Seuss
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