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Photo of young boy taking a library book off of a shelf.

Students use the card catalog and browse the shelves to find books that interest them.

Students at George Washington School now have access to something often taken for granted at most elementary schools – a library. Through the first few months of the school year, faculty and administrators worked to get the library up and running and now, thanks to some volunteer help from school staff, each classroom gets library time each week to browse, check out, and read books.

“At George Washington School, we strive to give our students the same experience most students get at a regular elementary school. While our students have a variety of needs, it’s important that those needs don’t keep them from having a typical elementary school experience as much as possible,” said Principal Danielle Remillard.

In the absence of a School Librarian, School Psychologist Vanessa Morin, Room 1 TA Kim Meyer and Room 6 TA Melissa Tallini are volunteering as librarians, helping students use the digital card catalog, find, check out and return books.

“It’s been great, our kids are always excited to spend time in the library. They’re really enjoying the chance to look for books that interest them and be able to sit down and read on their own or with staff. It’s been encouraging to see our students step up and be responsible and respectful in the library so quickly,” said Morin.

Photo of librarian scanning a book while a student looks on.

Students have library cards and must make sure they check their books out before leaving!

One of George Washington’s focus areas is improving literacy for students, so including weekly library time goes a long way toward helping students not only spend time reading and get comfortable with using the library, but also to help them grow as readers. The further students fall behind their grade level in literacy, the harder it will be for them to catch up as they move through school. Encouraging students to read and spend time in the library will help them avoid falling behind and prepare them for more success later in their school careers.

A special thank you goes to Questar III’s School Library System Director Kerrie Burch and Librarian Jane Bentley for their work in preparing the library for use. They trained Morin, Meyer and Tallini on the Follett library management system and have been a valuable resource as GWS staff acclimate to having a library available for students.

Photo of young girl and a teacher seated at a table pointing at a photo in a book.

A student reads a book she’s just checked out.

“We couldn’t have done this without Kerrie and Jane, they really made this process go smoothly so we can offer this to our students. I can’t thank Vanessa, Kim and Melissa enough for stepping up to volunteer as our librarians for the time being. Our students are really enjoying this new opportunity and I’m just so grateful to everyone who pitched in to make this happen,” said Remillard.

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