Join your colleagues in Columbia this summer to Think, Create, Share, and Grow, and become better informed about Learning 4 Life (L4L), the implementation plan for the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner. This hands-on session will provide you with a wealth of ideas and lesson plans for implementing the AASL and Common Core Standards in your schools. Participants will collaborate and communicate with fellow school librarians to help SC students become college and career ready.
Objectives of the L4L Summer Institute:
- To increase awareness and understanding of the AASL learning standards and program guidelines
- To increase awareness of the AASL Lesson Plan Database, and other L4L resources that can help you implement the AASL Standards in your schools
- To create L4L resources with peers from your districts / regions that you can take back to your schools
Karen Gavigan is an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. She is Chair of the AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force, and Chair of the SCASL Standards and Guidelines Committee.
Katherine Lowe is past-president of the Massachusetts School Library Association and current Executive Director. She chaired the AASL Learning Standards Indicators and Assessments Task Force that produced Standards for the 21st Century Learner in Action. She currently serves as Lead Moderator for the Standards for the 21st Century Learner Lesson Plan Database.
When: Tuesday, June 18th from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Seawell’s Conference Center, 1125 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 20201
Cost: $25 for SCASL Members and $50 for non-members (Registration includes lunch!)
Deadline: Forms & payment must be received by June 10, 2013
Mail completed forms to SCASL Summer Institute, PO BOX 2442, Columbia, SC 20202. If paying by credit card, you can fax to 803-492-3025 or email to Diane Ervin at email@example.com.
Link to pdf form: Summer Institute 2013
LMS Gail Carter of South Elementary (Dillon 4) was the happy winner of Capstone conference exhibitor David Watson’s beautiful hand sewn quilt at conference! Gail has it beautifully displayed in her library. Here is a picture to share with this news highlight.
I was recently asked by an audience member at this year’s Author Celebration Luncheon if Rosanne Parry’s acceptance speech for her 2012 Junior Book Award for Heart of a Shepherd was available online. I emailed Rosanne and she was gracious enough to send it to me with the caveat that she works from an outline, but doesn’t follow it 100%. She gave me permission to post here:
Acceptance Speech South Carolina Junior Book Award, March 2013
I have had such a journey with this little cowboy. He and I have gone places I never imagined I’d go–Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Chicago, Washington DC, and now Columbia. I have lived most of my life on the shores of the Columbia River so I feel a certain connection with this place. And I’m grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received here. I am amazed and humbled everywhere I go that people have found a sense of connection with this boy this Brother living in one of the most remote, and least famous parts of America. There is nothing glamorous or edgy or exotic about this child’s life. He lives in a small town, goes to a small school, and belongs to a hard working family. They make food. They have a long tradition of serving in this country’s armed forces. There is little glory in such a life. And yet when given an array of far more conventional books, the students of this state have felt a kinship with Brother and chosen his story above other books which have far exceeded it in commercial success. In a world that often prizes sparkle over substance, it is a very hopeful sign. It is also a testament to your care and guidance of the readers in your schools and the dedication and strong values of your student’s families. This is an honor I’ll remember my whole life and food for the journey of my life as a writer. Thank you.
I didn’t set out to write a book that centered so firmly around a character’s spiritual development. There are certainly reasons not to do so. It is an odd quirk of American culture that we would rather talk about sex and violence than God. To be fair, I think this stems in part from our religious diversity. I think, for most people, the impulse to keep spiritual matters private is a reflection their of respect for those who believe differently or not at all. For the most part it’s a wise and generous impulse. However, removing faith from public discourse completely is it’s own kind of lie. Faith is not rare. Across cultures, continents, centuries, praying together is one of the most common things families do.
When I chose Malheur County as a setting for Heart of a Shepherd, the spiritual element migrated into the story as naturally as the millions of migratory birds who populate the sky of this remote and beautiful landscape. Malheur County is the southeastern most county in Oregon. It borders Idaho and Nevada. This county is the size of Massachusetts and is home to fewer than 30,000 people. It was settled by Irish and Basque immigrants, people for whom Catholicism is, not just their religion, but also a vital part of their cultural identity. It would have been dishonest to leave faith out of this story. The more I thought about Brother’s search for a way to become a man among the men of his family, the more it felt natural for his faith to be part of the answer.
Never the less, having included faith in the story I was reasonably certain I would never be able to sell it. Have you stepped into a chain bookstore lately? The marketplace for books is designed to help people find sparkly, urban, purple and black, undead things wearing a fancy ball gown. Who would choose this refreshingly blue and green, decidedly unsexy, completely vampire-free story?
Jim Thomas, my editor at Random House, chose it. I had been sending him manuscripts for a few years and he’d always said, “This is great writing, send me something else.” When he said yes to this one I thought, really? This one? It seemed like the most commercially unviable thing I’d ever written. It’s about a cowboy who wants to be a priest! Can you imagine a more huge demographic? It begins with a rousing Game of Chess! There is No Kissing!
But Jim Thomas at Random House was able to say yes, to a book like this because he knows that you are here saying yes to books like this; books that have, not just an engaging plot and fun characters, but also substance, a theme worth discussing. You, and the Oregon Council of Teachers of English who chose Heart of a Shepherd for the Oregon Spirit Book Award, and the Women’s National Book Association, who gave it a Judy Lopez Honor Award, and the Church and Synagogue Library Association who gave it the Rodda Book Award and the state book award committees in 10 other states who nominated it for their children’s choice awards. You are the people who make literary fiction for children possible.
Because here is an unhappy truth about the book business; even after the honors I just mentioned, 2 starred reviews, and 3 best book of the year lists, Heart of a Shepherd has never been carried in the chain bookstores—not by Barnes & Noble. CostCo. Walmart, Kmart. None of them carry this book. It’s not quite sparkly enough for them.
And here is the silver lining to that particular rain cloud—I have not needed those large retail outlets. Heart of a Shepherd earned out it’s advance in 10 months. It was in it’s 4th printing in less than a year. Four years later it is still going strong and has recently gotten the largest paperback reprint order Random House makes in this category of fiction. This was accomplished entirely on the strength of libraries and independent bookstores. It happened because you read this book, loved it, bought it, and told other people about it. And that is real power in the marketplace. Because you and I, and also my publisher, know that children need more than “sparkle” from their books. They want more than “sparkle”. But leave them to face the marketplace alone, and “sparkle” is all they are likely to find.
So thank you, all of you, for being a light to the reading children in your libraries. It is a great comfort to me as a writer to know that no child comes to the bookshelf alone but is always there on the wings of parents, teachers, and librarians who have taught them to read, read aloud, and then read along side, and always, always talked with them about the substance of their reading in light of their own life. That is how a nation becomes literate—not just able to decode text, but truly literate. Able to enter into the life of a book and comprehend a character whose experiences are utterly different than your own and yet shares in the same essential qualities that make us all a part of one human family. It is absolutely vital, not just to the mind and heart of each child, but also to the intellectual, cultural and economic life of this country. Thank you.
When I think of all the honors Heart of a Shepherd has received, the one that has moved me the most is this: it was chosen at the Portland Community College’s Adult English Language Learner Program as the first novel in English to be read by their adult students. Wow! Consider the size of the field–novels written in English! That’s amazing. I spoke to the students one afternoon and had a chance after class to chat with a man who told me a bit about his life—Like many immigrants he had two jobs, one car, many children and grandchildren living in his small house. The result was that he often did his homework on the bus on the way to class.
He said to me, “I often feel ashamed because I know my school work is easy—not easy for me—but I know how simple it looks to other riders. But this book; I was proud to read this book on the bus. And now that I know that I can, I will read it out loud, in English, to my grandchildren.”
That, friends, is the birthplace of literacy, and honor enough for a lifetime. Thank you.
WRITTEN IN STONE, 2013
SECOND FIDDLE, 2011
HEART OF A SHEPHERD, 2009
Sometimes great ideas are of the simplest concepts. This was shared with me recently, and so I asked permission to share it here. I am so hoping to do this in my own high school library. It was created by Jenny Cox, school librarian in the coastal area of our state, Kensington Elementary School in Georgetown School District. After bombarding her with questions about it, I decided to with permission use her response directly in my post. Here is the inspiration and “how to” straight from the source:
It is not my idea originally. I saw something similar on Pinterest and tweaked it to look more like a Red Box. The Pinterest post used a rolling cart. I wasn’t crazy about how it looked so I used a bookshelf. I had a small shelf in the media center set up with paperback chapter books that 3rd – 5th graders use to swap paperbacks that they personally own, one for one. I keep what they bring, they keep what they take until they are ready to swap it again. The old “swap shelf” didn’t really stand out and was used by a handful of students. So when I saw this idea on Pinterest, I thought I would try it. More students are swapping books now because the Read Box is more eye catching and placed right near the circulation desk. I do require students to show me the paperback they bring in before switching so that I can make sure it is appropriate and not damaged, slightly worn is okay. Sometimes, I let kids just take a book from the shelf if they don’t have any at home–that gets them started. Then they have one they can bring back for a swap. Once I had a student bring me his Bible and asked to swap it for a book because he didn’t have any paperback at home. Of course, I gave him a book and gave him his Bible back too!
I used Scholastic dollars to purchase the initial set up “swap books.” I only use paperback chapter books for this. I even have a few parents who come and swap for their children. Teachers love it too! My principal was super excited about it.
I just decorated a three shelf standard book shelf to look like a Red Box with red butcher paper. I printed some book covers from Google Images, cut them out and taped them to the bottom to resemble Red Box movies. Then added the caption “Save a dollar, read a book.”
I have had a ton of comments on my Read Box from anyone who comes through the media center! I also post on FB to request paperback books that any of my FB friend’s children might have outgrown or no longer want.
Hope this helps!
P.S. I also have a swap shelf for teachers. They bring novels and other reading materials that they are finished with and swap them out too. This is in one of my smaller library rooms where I keep teacher materials.
Yes, Jenny, this helps a lot! You have really set my mind in motion! I too have a free swap area ( a carousel with a sign) in my library. I keep it up for those students who for whatever reason need a book but have “library issues” (like fines, overdues, etc.) The free swap is a “borrow on the honor system” set of paperbacks, and students can make a donation or borrow (and hopefully return) a title from the rack, no questions asked. We like it, and it helps those who really need a book be able to choose one. We also get donations from one of our high school clubs that do a book drive each year. Maybe you can contact the local high school and see if they do a book drive or similar project with a club. It could be a source for some free books to add to your collection for this project. Your answers were very helpful. I may re-invent our carousel into a “ReadBox.” Not only that, I’m thinking THIS is a perfect mini-grant waiting to happen. I’m on it! Thanks for sharing and graciously responding to my gazillion questions. I am so inspired!
Written by: Cathy Nelson, Teacher Librarian, NBCT Dorman High School Spartanburg District Six
Picture Attribution: “ReadBox” by Jenny Cox. LMS, Kennsington Elementary, Georgetown School District.
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