JCPS librarians taking extra steps to keep students engaged in reading

It’s not just school teachers, tutors and parents doing the hard work — going above and beyond — of making sure students continue learning amid a worldwide pandemic.The curb might not be your typical location for a school library, but during a pandemic, librarians like Michelle Chandler are doing whatever they can so children can keep reading.Chandler sets up a curbside book exchange during meal pickups at Foster Elementary. She explained the idea is to give students a break from the stresses of COVID-19 by just getting them alone with a book.”Giving them a book and putting a book in their actual hand, and letting them check that out, is a way for them to stay connected educationally, but also a way for them to get an emotional relaxation and also some mental relaxation from all the pressures of COVID,” Chandler said.Educators call it the “coronavirus slide”: The pandemic’s impact on student’s loss of learning.Librarians know keeping children engaged with independent reading is a critical building block, so they are stepping up in various ways to make sure books are available for students.Amy Lyons, from Westport Middle School, takes literal steps — from house to house — dropping off books to her student’s homes.”I can leave the book on the steps for them,” Lyons said. “They can leave the books they want to return on the steps for me, and we just do an exchange that way when they are ready for a new book.”Jefferson County Public School students can also access “Bookshelves,” a virtual library, through Google Classroom. Theresa Mayer, from Farmer Elementary School, helped create the platform where students can select and read books online.”All the students have access to them, they click on it and it opens up,” Mayer said. “There’s a table of contents to find books that fit their genre personality. Click on the book and it opens up and they can start reading.”The colorful displays and eye-catching backgrounds of the table of contents were designed specifically to grab the student’s attention and make them want to click and read.So whether it’s getting a book online or having it delivered to your door, these Jefferson County librarians know how important it is to keep kids reading.”I am a firm believer that a book can change someone’s life,” Chandler said.The digital “Bookshelves” are available districtwide for elementary students and are currently being developed for middle and high schools.

It’s not just school teachers, tutors and parents doing the hard work — going above and beyond — of making sure students continue learning amid a worldwide pandemic.

The curb might not be your typical location for a school library, but during a pandemic, librarians like Michelle Chandler are doing whatever they can so children can keep reading.

Chandler sets up a curbside book exchange during meal pickups at Foster Elementary. She explained the idea is to give students a break from the stresses of COVID-19 by just getting them alone with a book.

“Giving them a book and putting a book in their actual hand, and letting them check that out, is a way for them to stay connected educationally, but also a way for them to get an emotional relaxation and also some mental relaxation from all the pressures of COVID,” Chandler said.

Educators call it the “coronavirus slide”: The pandemic’s impact on student’s loss of learning.

Librarians know keeping children engaged with independent reading is a critical building block, so they are stepping up in various ways to make sure books are available for students.

Amy Lyons, from Westport Middle School, takes literal steps — from house to house — dropping off books to her student’s homes.

“I can leave the book on the steps for them,” Lyons said. “They can leave the books they want to return on the steps for me, and we just do an exchange that way when they are ready for a new book.”

Jefferson County Public School students can also access “Bookshelves,” a virtual library, through Google Classroom. Theresa Mayer, from Farmer Elementary School, helped create the platform where students can select and read books online.

“All the students have access to them, they click on it and it opens up,” Mayer said. “There’s a table of contents to find books that fit their genre personality. Click on the book and it opens up and they can start reading.”

The colorful displays and eye-catching backgrounds of the table of contents were designed specifically to grab the student’s attention and make them want to click and read.

So whether it’s getting a book online or having it delivered to your door, these Jefferson County librarians know how important it is to keep kids reading.

“I am a firm believer that a book can change someone’s life,” Chandler said.

The digital “Bookshelves” are available districtwide for elementary students and are currently being developed for middle and high schools.

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