A student dives into a new book at the district's annual Tween Read Festival. This month, Pasadena ISD is joining school district nationwide in celebrating reading for School Library Month.
A Pasadena ISD student shows off his love of reading with a book signed by his favorite author.
April is National School Library Month and Pasadena ISD is joining districts across the nation in celebrating the important role librarians and library programs play in educating students.
This year’s theme is School Libraries Transform Learning and the district is raising awareness of innovative approaches to enhanced reading experiences for students.
“Research confirms that student achievement and reading scores increase when they have access to a quality school library program,” said Christine Van Hamersveld, director of libraries and instructional materials.
While campus level activities involving book fairs and author visits will be happening throughout the month, a district wide celebration will take place April 16 with the annual Name That Book Reading Challenge. The event tests knowledge of classic literature and contemporary books and garners student participation from each campus in the district.
Teams of students meet with their campus librarian and begin preparing for the Name That Book competition after receiving their summer reading list. The event uses modern technology including a Promethean ActivExpression student response system designed to allow students to submit answers quickly and track their team’s progress during the competition.
Name that Book is a sample of how school libraries in the district have transformed learning among students. For instance, through community support of the 2014 school bond, libraries are now equipped with Promethean ActivExpression technology, comprised of an interactive board, projector and keypad devices that promote class participation and facilitate real-time feedback.
Additionally, all students have access to Kindle Fire tablets and wireless Internet service.
Each campus in the district has a certified librarian who serves several roles involving organizing large volumes of print material to support learning in all content areas, guiding students to research topics, and supporting classroom instruction with supplementary reading materials. Librarians also help students access print and online materials.
“Modern school library programs provide students with physical and virtual access to the tools they need to learn, create and share and school librarians serve as instructional leaders for all grade levels and subjects,” Van Hamersveld said.
Print and digital resources are available to students year-round. Last school year, more than 1.5 million district students visited the library during class and nearly 340,000 students visited the library independently and checked out over 2.6 million books. Additionally, students downloaded 450,000 electronic printed books.
“Students at every campus in Pasadena ISD are fortunate to have an exemplary school library program, led by a certified school librarian,” Van Hamersveld said. “These educators teach, guide and empower students to learn in a unique way and grow as individuals.”
The 2016 School Library Month celebration marks 31 years of the national observance. The first ceremony began on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol on April 1, 1985. More about the history of School Library Month.