This week, the David C. Barrow Elementary Media Center received some exciting news.  We were named the Exemplary Library Media Program in the elementary category for the entire state of GA.  The Annual Exemplary/Exceptional Library Media Program selects  schools from elementary, middle, and high school levels to be recognized based on how well their library media program meets school improvement goals and improves student achievement.  Peer Library Media Specialists and GaDOE staff select the recipients based on the school’s written application, the principal’s narrative, a possible telephone interview, and a probable on-site visit.  Two possible awards can be obtained:  Exemplary or Exceptional.  The exemplary programs are among the top library media programs in the state and are chosen based on the GaDOE library media program self-evaluation rubric.

The Barrow Media Program was nominated in March 2010 and I wrote the narrative for our media center.  In the celebration of being transparent and public about what goes on in our media center, you can read the narrative here.  I will travel to Atlanta on August 12th to be recognized at the State Board of Education meeting.  Another part of winning this recognition is presenting our media program along with the middle and high school exemplary programs at the GaETC Conference in November.  Our media center will also host an open house sometime in the 2010-11 school year for the public and other schools/districts to visit.

I would also like to send out a big congratulations to Shawn Hinger at Clarke Middle School and Anne McLeod at Burney Harris Lyons for being named “exceptional” library media programs.

This is such an honor for our program, our school, and our district.  Receiving an award like this will push us even more to offer innovative lessons and resources for our students and collaborate closely with teachers to support the Georgia Performance Standards.  I can’t wait to see what we come up with in the 2010-11 school year!

~Andy Plemmons

What poem is hiding inside you?

written by Joyce Sidman illustrated by Pamela Zagarensky Houghton Mifflin, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0-547-01494-4

Summer is the perfect time to sit outside in the sunshine by the pool, under a tree, next to a stream, or wherever else your heart leads you and take time to appreciate the beauty of the world.  It’s also the perfect time to capture your observations in a journal, sketchbook, or your favorite piece of technology.  One thing that I love to do is take my observations of the world and turn them into poetry.  I just finished reading Red Sings from the Treetops: A year in colors by Joyce Sidman & Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski.  This book was a 2010 Caldecott Honor book, and it was very deserving of this recognition.  The illustrations are exquisite, and the text is lyrical and insightful.  Joyce Sidman uses her poetic eye and creative imagination to capture how colors change throughout the year.  Definitely check this book out for writing and drawing inspiration.

On Joyce’s website, students can submit their poems for publication.  She posts student poems with only first names visible.  I’m always looking for places where students can make their voices heard through their writing.  If you choose to write a poem this summer (and I hope you do), consider sending it to her site. You can also post it here in the comments section whether your an adult reading this or a student!  If you know other great outlets for young authors to publish their work, leave that in the comments section, too.  Now go outside, pick a spot, listen & observe, and craft a poem!