The grant to Meigs Local, one of 50 schools in “distressed school districts” across the country selected for library funding, was announced at a meeting of the Meigs Local Board of Education last week. At that time Superintendent Rusty Bookman noted that the emphasis will be on improving library technology, resources, access and instruction using current personnel to integrate media into the classroom arena.
The priorities, according to Bookman, is to acquire up to date resources, advanced technology, and then provide students with access to libraries during non-school hours. He said the proposed outcome is to expand access to school libraries after school hours, to increase the use of educational technology with the purchase of 256 mobile learning devices, to engage teachers and administrators in professional development in content and media literacy, with a special focus on math and reading, and to increase library holdings by 20 percent.
The program is to be implemented in the Meigs Local preschool, the primary school, the intermediate school, the Meigs Middle School and the Meigs High School, along with the Meigs County District Public Library in Pomeroy.
The plan as proposed will include the purchase of 5,000 new fiction, non-fiction and resource library books, related accelerated readers, audio books, storytelling kits, 16 class sets of books, and curricular modules.
The expectation, according to the project abstract, will serve all students, approximately 1900, along with 60 parents, 120 teachers, and 10 administrators.
District librarians, Denise Arnold, BettyAnn Wolfe, Margaret Barr, and Beth Lawson along with Matt Simpson, district technology coordinator, and Dr. James Salzman from the Edward Stevens Center for the Study and Development of Literacy and Language at Ohio University wrote the grant application with the support of retired Superintendent William Buckley, Bookman, and building principals.
According to school personnel who worked on the project, the primary purpose of the program is “to improve student literacy skills and academic achievement by providing increased access to up-to-date library materials, a well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media center, and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists.”
The Improving Literacy through School Libraries program is geared to promote comprehensive local strategies to improve student reading achievement by improving school library services and resources.
It is one component of the U.S. Education Department’s commitment to improve student achievement by focusing available resources, including those of school library media centers, to ensure that “no child is left behind.”