The evolution of the elementary school libraries at NCCS

Nowadays, the library is not just a place to go find and check out books anymore. As Fredette explained, going to a library is now a learning experience, and its fun too. Fredette said hed planned on a teaching career, once he earned his state certification, but was offered a fill-in position as librarian with the Northeastern Clinton Central School district for Mooers and Rouses Point Elementary schools. Before he knew it he had earned a masters degree in library science and grew to love his job. It is more of a teaching job than I thought it was, he said. In 2001 they took the library curriculum and aligned it with English Language Arts (ELA), he said. The library class, which used to be centered more around basic library skills, is now taken a step further, he said. We now reinforce the ELA thats taught in the classrooms, Fredette said, of the 40-minute library classes. We are already reading to the children, so why not use some of our time to have them write about the details of the story? Rather than just silently choosing and signing out a book, Fredette has his older classes answer questions about plot, characters, or other details, while the younger students may be asked to draw pictures to illustrate the ending of the book or a favorite character. Fredette has also developed a Library Challenge in Mooers, in which students must use their research skills to answer a question Fredette posts in the hallway. Those who come in with the correct answer get to put their names into a bucket for a chance to win prizes. Those prizes, as well as more books for the shelves and some really cool furnishings have all been earned through hosting book fairs in the library. Two colorful rugs, a beanbag and some pint-sized lounge chairs make for some comfortable new reading spots. Ive finally saved enough to have a visiting author, James Bruschak, come to Rouses Point this Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. He will also visit Mooers in May, Fredette said. Also new this year, the introduction of the Library Club, first in Mooers, and now in Rouses Point. Two students from each fifth grade class are given the opportunity to become buddy readers, provided they are in good standing and have spare time to share. The Library Club students help first graders choose and sign out library books and then spend time reading to them. Its fun to see their expressions (as we read to them), said Amanda Tallon of the Mooers Library Club. Tallon said she hopes to be an author someday, with the focus on writing for fourth-sixth grade students. And it helps Fredette out too. Theres 700 or more books going in and out between the two schools, he said. Even with having a teachers aid at each site, theres always a lot of work to get done in between trying to teach the classes. Morgan Lintner, of Mooers, also enjoys being able to help and the time away from the regular classroom routine, its a lot of fun and a nice change. Shania Coggins also likes the program and the fact that her little brother, Dejon, is one of the first-graders. Coggins, also of Mooers, said she reads to her brother at home now too.

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