Parr’s Ridge Library Media Program Receives State Award
Release Date: 9/28/2010 9:05:56 AM
The Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) has selected Parr’s Ridge Elementary School as the winner of the Mae I. Graham Award for outstanding school library media programs in the state of Maryland. The award is given annually on a rotating basis to elementary, middle, and high schools in recognition of excellence in library media programs.
The library media collection at Parr’s Ridge was developed in collaboration with teachers, administrators, and support staff to support the curriculum and meet the diverse needs of the beginning and emergent readers at the county’s only primary school (grades PreK-12). In addition to books and other print materials, the collection includes puppets, dolls, early-learning backpacks with a variety of materials to supplement the reading of a book, and bilingual resources.
According to media specialist Jan Nies, “Our library media center is truly the hub of the school. It was designed to be a warm, welcoming place that provides easy access for little people to find information.”
The media center integrates classroom content and technology literacy standards into its media skills instruction. It offers a variety of technology for student learning and collaboration, such as age-appropriate databases and other programs, software, and equipment. Parr’s Ridge was the first school in the county to have ceiling-mounted LCD projectors and smart carts equipped with everything needed for effective, exciting instruction.
In addition to providing more than 30 instructional classes each week, the media specialists also work collaboratively with teachers to incorporate library skills with grade level instruction and co-teach in the computer lab. Media specialist Emily Howe hosts a book club for second grade students, and media specialist Jan Nies meets with first and second graders as part of an Authors as Mentors Writing Club. The media center also produces a weekly closed circuit TV news show. Each week four students research and find information such as the weather or news from their grade, or find and share their favorite book. The newscast is recorded live each Friday morning and is broadcast throughout the school.
Media specialists Jan Nies and Emily Howe will receive the award at MASL’s fall conference on Thursday, October 14, 2010, in Hagerstown. The school will receive a set of Black Eyed Susan books, a $500 award for the media center, and a commemorative plaque. In addition, the media specialist will serve on the Mae I. Graham committee and will present at the following year’s fall MASL conference.