A TOUGH BEGINNING
BY DARAH HANSEN VANCOUVER SUN
The Vancouver Sun, 20 Sep 2008
Johnny Romah was 17 on his very first day of school. A member of the Montagnard — or mountain — people of Vietnam, Romah arrived in Vancouver in 2005 after an exhausting year spent in a refugee camp in Cambodia. He’d fled his impoverished village at...read more...
Why we do what we do ...
If you attended the VTLA meeting, you would have heard Denise from Killarney tell us a little more about her first meeting Johnny at Tupper, after he had attended Gladstone. His striving for confidence and competence in his new language is propelled by his digital confidence and new-found skills with technology. These technologies he has learned to use are the tools that have opened the doors to knowledge, reading, learning, and friendship for Johnny.
The support and caring of Vancouver educators such as Denise and the vision and leadership of our ESL colleagues like Sylvia cannot be underestimated in stories such as these either. Of course, we know that great things are happening in school libraries; for many of our students, they are sources of lifelines and the tools for navigating the very complicated terrain of school.
Val H posted the Ministry Press Release on Canwest's Raise-a-Reader campaign to the BCTLA Forum this week:
For the fifth consecutive year, the Province will match all donations raised during CanWest's Raise-a-Reader campaign in B.C., Premier Gordon Campbell announced today. "Literacy is a key that opens the door to a world of knowledge, of learning and of opportunity," said Premier Campbell .... "Our government's commitment to improved literacy levels through initiatives like Raise-A-Reader is leading the country," said Education Minister Shirley Bond. "Partners like CanWest help us support children and adults and increase awareness about the need to raise literacy levels."
"Literacy involves continuous learning and enables us to reach our goals, develop our knowledge and achieve our potential," said Kevin Bent, president and publisher of the Vancouver Sun .... Since the inception of the campaign in Vancouver in 1997, Raise-a-Reader and its sponsors have made significant contributions to help improve literacy for children and families not only across the province, but also across Canada.
In response Karen Lindsay, BCTLA VP (Advocacy), posted: "I always apply for a Raise-a-Reader grant through the Victoria Times-Colonist, and get between $2,000 and $3,000. The fact that school library programs are not mentionned in this press release does not mean that schools do not apply or benefit. It's a great program with many beneficiaries."
Applications for school libraries are made through the Superintendents' offices in BC. If your school library program does not benefit from fund-raising, here's a great way to put more resources on the shelves for some of our neediest young readers.
Resources, Resources, Resources ...
Maryann and I presented to Learning Services this week and highlighted the importance of our centralized services for schools, including the Professional collections! We are encouraging everyone distributing resources in schools to see our wonderful staff in MLST first and to think school library and media services for retention, circulation, and promotion. There was great interest in the newspapers and the databases.
We are all working to build the information literate educational community ... here, we are helping our district colleagues move comfortably in and out of the webcat page to give them more teaching and learning resources to put into the hands of teachers; this important network in Learning Services are an important source of support for classrooms and school library programs.
I am looking forward to seeing the work that Mark is doing to promote these resources with his colleagues at Cunningham as well ... he`s using Inspiration!
Upcoming Events Reminders
- Will we see you on Sunday (September 28) at the Word on the Street , Library Square, 11 am to 5 pm?
- On Monday look for the FAXed flyer sent to your attention about the event sponsored by the BC Coalition for School Libraries/CWILL BC , Kidsbooks, and the VPL called "Autumn Harvest." It will be held on Sunday, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Central branch of the VPL in the Alice MacKay room (lower level). Admission is free. Details of how to enter the contest for an author visit for your school are on the flyer.
- Have you registered yet for the PSA Conference on Friday, October 24: BCTLA Conference in Victoria -- Mission: Literacy. If you need a ride or want to share accommodations, check the email discussions.
Keep up the good work, everyone!