Wednesday, November 30, 2016

School librarians and libraries help Every Student Succeed in Iowa!

Steven Yates, president-elect for AASL, presented a wonderful workshop on ESSA in Cedar Rapids and via Zoom to other AEAs across Iowa on Tuesday, Nov. 29th. We taped this workshop and will be sending out a link to the recording soon.

On Wednesday, Nov. 30th, a small group of teacher librarians and library professionals from across the state are meeting with Director Ryan Wise – at his request - in Des Moines to have a conversation about ESSA, school librarians and effective school library programs.

 We all have an excellent opportunity to help Every Student Succeed in Iowa! We can send emails to essa@iowa.gov with messages (see steps 4 through 9 for some ideas). 

It’s hard to sum up all of what happened in the three-hour workshop to a single email. For now, I will give a brief summary of what you can do now.

1.       First of all, go to the ESSA web site and download the Iowa handbook we used for the workshop: http://essa.aasl.org/forums/topic/iowa-112916/ There are excellent resources in there, including video links for more information about ESSA and libraries.

2.       Next, think about who in your community would have a stake in local school district plans to ensure that school library program provide students an opportunity to develop digital literacy skills and improve academic achievement? Who needs to have college and career ready individuals graduation today?  Those might include teachers, administrators, parents, current students, other library and educational associations, community colleges, private and public colleges in your region, news organizations, businesses, former students, public libraries, and many more. I am sure you can think of some to add to this list.

3.       Next, think about what they can contribute to our efforts and three things you could do today to build or strengthen your relationship with them.

4.       Now it is time to develop your personalized “elevator speech” based on ESSA’s key areas that relate to school librarians and effective school libraries.  You can use this message for an email to the Iowa DE or to share with friends to ask them to share with the Iowa DE.

5.       Start with ESSA’s key messages for school librarians are as follows:
a.       School librarians and access to effective school library programs, impact student achievement, digital literacy skills, and school climate/culture (Title I)
b.       School librarians share their learning with other professionals when they attend conferences and workshops, applying the benefits of new techniques, strategies, and technologies to the entire district (Title II)
c.       School librarians are uniquely suited to lead the effort in applying for competitive grants because of their expertise and access to strong professional learning networks (Title II, Part B)
d. School librarians increase access to personalized, rigorous learning experiences supported by technology, allowing equitable resources for all students. (Title IV) 

6.       Connect the message specifically to your work with a quick fact or data point and a story. It is OK to use data from a survey or research if you do not have specific data from your school or district to support your story. A story or anecdote that shows the impact you have on a student or students is key here.

7.       Consider who you are talking to, what they care about and what it is within their power to impact.

8.       Wrap it up by making a specific request of what you would like them to do to help.

9.       If it helps, practice in front of a friend or the mirror. It’s important to be prepared should you find yourself faced with questions and comments such as “Are there really any libraries left?” … “We don’t need librarians when you have the Internet.” … “Everything kids need is on Google.” …

Check the IASL web site for more updates on ESSA at http://iasl-ia.org and on state listservs.


Keep up the good fight!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Update on Tuesday's ESSA workshop


The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids.  

Additional locations include Heartland AEA in Johnston, Northwest AEA (Sioux Center and Sioux City), AEA 267 in Marshalltown, Prairie Lakes and Mississippi Bend.  Check with your local AEA for details.

Steven Yates, AASL President-Elect, will facilitate the session which will include:
•  The most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the sections of ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian/library program.
•  Connecting ESSA language to the school librarian’s role.
•  Discussing current state work with recommendations for opportunities at state and local levels to ensure the effective school library program’s language in ESSA.
This hands-on session will aid in identifying stakeholders, building coalitions, message crafting and elevator speech development.  While the content will be directly related to ESSA, the tools and exercise portion is advocacy for positioning school librarians in general as leaders for teaching and learning. Each participant will receive an ESSA handbooks.
To RSVP so we can know how many people to expect, please complete the following survey:
goo.gl
The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with AASL to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids. Additional sites will be available virtually. Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can have some idea how many participants there will be. Thank you!

  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Book Review: Kids of Appetite


Vic is fascinated by a group of kids he sees around his New Jersey town.  Baz is the leader, Zuz is the quiet one, Coco is the comic relief, and, of course, the beautiful and intoxicating Mad.  But he never thought he would actually interact with these people, until he impulsively ran away from home one frigid night, and the group enfolds him within their strange wings and helps him with a very personal quest.  Thus begins an eight-day adventure, with stops at the ocean, a church, a greenhouse, New York, and ending at the police station.  Will Vic fulfill his quest?  What will happen to Vic when the time comes to leave his new friends?

Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold, is a coming-of-age book about family, friendship, and grief.  It is not a quick read, but it is worth every minute.  If you have readers that enjoy books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, or We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart, they will love Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold.

Friday, November 4, 2016

ESSA Workshop in CR Nov 29th

The Iowa Association of School Librarians is partnering with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) to offer a free three-hour workshop on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Tuesday, Nov. 29th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids. Additional sites will be available virtually.

Steven Yates, AASL President-Elect, will facilitate the session which will include:
•  The most current information on developments at the Federal level and work through the sections of ESSA that can be directly linked to the school librarian/library program.
•  Connecting ESSA language to the school librarian’s role.
•  Discussing current state work with recommendations for opportunities at state and local levels to ensure the effective school library program’s language in ESSA.

This hands-on session will aid in identifying stakeholders, building coalitions, message crafting and elevator speech development.  While the content will be directly related to ESSA, the tools and exercise portion is advocacy for positioning school librarians in general as leaders for teaching and learning. Each participant will receive an ESSA handbooks.

Support is also provided by the American Library Association’s Washington Office and Office for Library Advocacy.


Additional locations will be announced as this information becomes available. Check with your local AEA for details in the next week or so.