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Turning the Page
How do school libraries foster digital literacy?
As the "new librarian" this past year at Calistoga I observed students who would saunter into the library for various reasons. Often times they would come in small groups and huddle in a corner where they thought I couldn't hear them. They would catch up on what was happening in their world, check their phones for the latest updates, and were oblivious to the fact that they were in a library. In the beginning they would recognize my presence with a nod or even sometimes a wary smirk. Realizing that it would take time to build relationships with these students, I would just smile and continue with my work. As the year progressed the nods and smirks became more friendly and students began to acknowledge me. (And yes, having chocolate around did play a small role.) It was when they began to tell me their stories and include me in their conversations that I fell in love with the school culture, the kids, and the teachers. (more...)
My purpose in proposing this project is to accomplish the task of transitioning Calistoga Joint Unified School's libraries into learning commons media centers that foster 21st Century learning. This journey will be a reflective, ongoing process that will take several years to complete. Other schools who are considering adopting a learning commons model for their school libraries are welcome follow along, provide feedback, and learn with me.
Calistoga students are a tight-knit group of kids who, for the most part, have grown up together. The parents are hard-working, caring, and family-oriented, and many are immigrants. These families struggle to earn a living. Older children are responsible for younger siblings who require care while the parents work. There is family stress due to finances, and many of the other obstacles that get in the way of everyday life. One wonders, why are these young people so willing to get up every morning and come to school, given the obstacles they are faced with? I believe the answer lies in the fact that they want a better life for themselves as adults and they know what it will take because they know the true meaning of hard work and sacrifice. More...
Support and Next Steps
For more information go to the Commmunity and Next Steps Page.
This revolution of sorts does begin now, but the timing is infinite and there is no end-result because technology is a continual process. The process is reflective, collaborative, and will slowly result in the goals I am setting. As a school district and a member of the NapaLearns Community, Calistoga is fortunate to have connections to community-minded people and administrators who have a progressive vision of what kids need to be successful in life. As a veteran teacher who has worked in three states, I am overwhelmed at the generosity, the positive support, and the opportunity given to me by the NapaLearns Community and Calistoga Joint Unified. I am empowered and supported in doing what I love best - teaching kids how to be academically, socially, and digitally savvy.