As an author I have the privilege of travelling to local schools and motivating kids to read, write, and dream. Today I had the special privilege to speak at a remarkable school. It is called Siefert Elementary and the principle there, Mrs. Varela-Katz, has had a mission since the moment she set foot in the school. When she first toured it, she found that the library was in the basement, and she was concerned. But then, when she saw that it had been closed down, she was broken hearted. The students in this
This principal decided to gather some volunteers and staff members and reconstitute the library. After tons of dusting, organizing, and labeling of books the library
was ready to be unveiled to the children. Since this school is a RIF school, they were able to coordinate giving each child a free book to take home, and an author
visit. But before the free book and author visit Mrs. Varela-Katz had the top reader in the 5th grade do the honor of cutting the tape. This girl was so proud to have this honor and together they began the kickoff event.
But that is not all. They dedicated this library to a woman named Mrs. Reed who had worked 27 years at that specific school. Mrs. Reed not only worked there for a long time, but now that she is retired she still continues to volunteer at the school. She was given an award and the library is now called The Reed Library.
I love that this woman’s name is Reed. How awesome that a teacher named Mrs. Reed motivates children to read.
If people are wondering if awesome things are happening in the schools, then they don’t have to look far. The students energy and excitement regarding this visit was off the chart. Many of these kids had never met an author before. They knew that an author is someone who writes books, but to meet an author in their eyes was like meeting a star.
It is so exciting that because of the efforts of amazing leadership, like that of Mrs. Varela-Katz that kids will have the potential to access an unlimited amount of knowledge. In their new library there are 4 brand new computers and they are also getting a Smartboard. The access of the world will be at their fingertips to learn and grow in knowledge and wisdom. One little girl said that she was going to be able to read more books than she has ever read before because of this library.
Libraries are not a thing of the past. I have found with my own children that they prefer to read actual books vs. virtual books. Actually touching books, holding books, and reading books is not something that is going to disappear in this digital world. It is only going to increase the access that people have to books.
What do you think of schools like this that are doing everything they can to keep the library alive and well? Let me know what you think in the comments section.