Shawnee Heights High School librarian Leslie Weishaar is making sure her students visit the school library’s second branch: The public library.
Nearly every student in the Shawnee Heights USD 450 district now holds a library card to access all the library’s resources, and especially the digital library, on school-supplied or home devices. They will have ready access to our collection of over 450,000 items, expanding their horizons for research, reference and just pure recreation, too.
This is going to boost student success, big time. Teachers will be empowered to put together easy-to-access reading lists for their classes, and kids can access those titles instantly on a tablet, computer or smartphone. Connecting Shawnee Heights schools to the public library ups the game for students, teachers and school librarians alike.
“They will learn at a very early age the value of a public library,” says Leslie Weishaar, librarian at Shawnee Heights H.S. “It is my hope that when our students graduate they will know how to use a public library no matter where they live, and they will appreciate the importance of the resources provided by a public library.”
The collaboration began with Marie Pyko, public services director and Rebecca Greer, curriculum director at USD 450. They decided together to pursue getting all Shawnee Heights students signed up for library cards and using all the resources that affords.
Pyko knew the initiative would answer President Obama’s ConnectED Library Challenge, announced in the spring of 2015.
ConnectEd is a way for communities throughout the country to create or strengthen partnerships so that every child enrolled in school can receive a library card and have access to the books and learning resources of America’s public libraries. The initiative calls upon library leaders to work with their mayors or county executives, school leaders and school librarians.
“This collaboration will not only provide our students with quality information sources and interesting recreational reading, but will develop lifelong learners and readers,” says Weishaar.