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Volume 10, Issue 9
Decmber 2011
 

In this Issue:
 
Association News
Education News
Resources for School Librarians
Grants & Awards
Professional Development
Partnership News
Member Spotlight



Association News


AASL Pre-Midwinter Institute in January Helps School Librarians Create a Powerful Program
AASL encourages members to attend the AASL Pre-Midwinter Institute, "Tools for Transforming Your School Library Program" on Friday, Jan. 20. The Institute offers you a full day of professional development before the ALA 2012 Midwinter Meeting. The program will explore AASL's "A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners" and the School Library Program Assessment Rubric contained in the module. Attendees will learn how to collect and use data to drive their program's improvement. Later, the institute will take attendees through AASL's "Standards for the 21st Century Learner in Action” and new Lesson Plan Database. Both tools can be used to create lesson plans that will elevate the attendees programs by demonstrating the school librarian's connection with teaching and their application of the Common Core Standards. Online registration for this institute is now open.

AASL Awards Offer More than $50,000 in Opportunities
AASL’s 2012 awards program offers 10 awards totaling more than $50,000. The awards recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library field in categories that include research, collaboration, leadership and innovation. AASL personal members are required to fill out applications using AASL’s online awards database. The deadline for submitting applications or nominations for most AASL awards and grants is February 1, 2012. For the NSLPY award, the deadline is January 2, 2012. All applications will close at 4:30 p.m. CST on the day of the deadline.

Register for a Complimentary Webinar on Solo Librarianship
AASL is offering members a complimentary webinar on How to Survive as a Solo Librarian, December 13 at 7:00 PM CST. Dr. Audrey Church, guest co-editor of the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Knowledge Quest, will address the types of resources available to assist the solo librarian in tough economic times. Those members interested in participating must register at the AASL website.

AASL Joins Alliance to Support Literacy Education
AASL has joined 20 other stakeholder groups representing educational and school and community leaders in support of the new National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE), a project that provides a clearinghouse for educator teams and schools engaged in innovative literacy education practices to share and learn from one another. An initiative by the National Council of Teachers of English and the Ball Foundation, NCLE will provide examples of participating schools’ innovative literacy education efforts through its free Literacy in Learning Exchange website. The website will offer commentary from experts, research and helpful insights on how those visionary practices can be adapted in other schools. Schools or school systems leading a community of practice through the NCLE website will be eligible to apply for recognition and support as Literacy in Every Classroom Sites.

School Library Leaders Provide 30-Second Insights in New AASL Video Series
AASL is proud to present its new video podcast series, 30 Second Thought Leadership: Insights from Leaders in the School Library Community. The series features school librarian experts delivering brief and practical advice based on the themes of Knowledge Quest issues. The inaugural 30 Second series focuses on the recently released Knowledge Quest issue, “The Solo Librarian,” and explores the question, “What one traditional activity should school librarians stop doing in order to increase time for strategic activities?" Those offering their insight include: Audrey Church, Gail Dickinson, Ann Martin, Helen Adams, and AASL President Carl Harvey.

AASL Survey Finds School Librarians Help Provide Digital Citizenship Skills
The 2011 School Libraries Count! (SLC) national longitudinal survey of school library programs conducted by AASL found an overwhelming majority of schools across America are including digital citizenship – appropriate and responsible technology use – as part of their curriculum. Survey findings also indicate the school librarian serves as one of the primary educators when it comes to digital citizenship. Seventy-one percent of school librarians surveyed said digital citizenship is included as part of their school or district curriculum and 52 percent indicated they were the primary teacher in their school or district. The study also reports on collaborative efforts between school librarians and other educators within the school were also reported, including those between school librarians and classroom teachers (36 percent) and school librarians, classroom teachers and technology instructors (33 percent). Data regarding areas of digital citizenship incorporated into curriculums and online safety issues, such as cyber-bullying, is also covered in the survey.

AASL Survey Shows Increased Access to School Library Resources
According to trend data collected by AASL, technology acquisitions in school libraries across the nation appear to be leveling, while remote access to school library databases is rapidly increasing. Data was collected as part of AASL’s national longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count! (SLC). In 2011, 82 percent of libraries now make school databases available to students outside of school confines, up from sixty-five percent in 2007.

New Issue of Knowledge Quest Now Available Online
The November/December 2011 issue of Knowledge Quest is now available online for members! Guest edited by Audrey Church and Frances Reeve, the issue features articles and resources on “The Solo Librarian.” Visit the Knowledge Quest website to read Audrey and Frances’ Guest Editor Column and learn more about the theme and the issue. Along with the articles that appear in the print version of this issue, the all new Knowledge Quest online features a variety of additional content and resources such as podcasts, webinars, essential links, electronic submission forms and a calendar!

 




Study Reveals Positive Teen Response to Social Network Sites
A new in-depth study released by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) and supported by Cable in the Classroom (CIC), examines teens’ behavior and experiences on social network sites, their privacy and safety practices, and the role of parents in digital safekeeping. Researchers found social media use is widespread among teens. Fully 95 percent of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80 percent of online teens are users of social media sites. According to the report, more teens report positive personal outcomes than negative ones from interactions on social network sites – 78 percent of teens surveyed say they had at least one positive outcome from their interactions on social network sites, and 65 percent say have had an experience on a social network site that made them feel good about themselves. Although 41 percent of teen respondents did report at least one negative outcome, such as bullying, the report indicates that 95 percent of social media-using teens who have witnessed cruel behavior have seen others ignore it.

School Reform Research Reveals Need for Parent and Community Outreach
New research from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its partners in the Campaign for High School Equity finds that African-American and Latino parents and caregivers perceive high dropout rates and low college attendance as problems, particularly in their own communities, but are largely unaware of the public school reform movement. Researchers see an opening to engage these parents and caregivers in a collective, coordinated effort that would empower them to hold the educational system accountable for more effective and inclusive reforms and innovations. According to the report, it is crucial that reform organizations and education leaders play a larger role in developing reforms that better reflect parent and community priorities, while helping parents understand the relevance of those reforms.

Center for Progress Report Finds Lack of Effective School Principals
A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzes state policies and requirements for principal preparation, approval, and certification in a sample of 16 states, eight of which are "lagging" and eight that are "leading" in their efforts to ensure that schools are led by effective leaders. According to the report, states play a critical role in determining who leads schools, but few are efficiently using the two most important levers to ensure the quality of principals – principal preparation program approval and principal licensure oversight. Each year, thousands of principals in the U.S. are licensed under antiquated laws that are misaligned to the skills and dispositions needed for effective school leadership, the study said.

New Report Highlights Use of Early Warning Systems in K-12 Schools
A new report by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center offers an overview of current research on Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems (EWS), which enable rapid identification of students who are in trouble or in need for support. The report is informed by conversations with teachers on the front lines, district and state officials in the process of building EWS, nonprofits working with school systems to implement EWS, and researchers working to refine and extend early-warning indicators. The report outlines emerging best practices and policy recommendations, and notes that EWS are rapidly evolving toward broader usage, with efforts underway to integrate school readiness indicators at the start of student's schooling, and college and career readiness indicators throughout K-12 schooling.

Students Offer Perspectives on What Makes a Good Educator
A new publication from the College Board and Youth Communication gives student perspectives on what makes a good educator. The booklet features five student essays, and summarizes the top 10 pieces of advice to educators from students. Student recommendations include: making lessons relevant to students' lives; resisting the urge to act the same age as students or use their slang; teaching with words, sights, and sounds; and being consistent and firm.

Chicago Initiative Shows Promise for Evaluating Educators Fairly
A new study from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research found that Chicago’s Excellence in Teaching Pilot provides evidence that principals are able to assess teachers accurately on practices that drive student learning. The report, Rethinking Teacher Evaluation in Chicago, found that educators who received the highest ratings from principals also produced the greatest learning gains in students. The study summarizes findings from a two-year study, which was adopted in 44 schools in 2008 and then expanded to 100 in 2009.



AASL Featured in TIME FOR KIDS
The December/January K-1 edition of TIME For Kids asks children where they get the books they read and then provides examples of traveling libraries around the globe. Activities in the K-1 edition are hosted by Curious George and include helping the mischievous monkey sort fiction and nonfiction book covers. The online Teacher’s Guide accompanying the December/January issue includes a brief interview with Carl Harvey, AASL president. TIME For Kids' K-1 edition is distributed to 440,000 children and 25,000 teachers across the country.

New Learning Registry Offers Shared Educational Resources
The U.S. Departments of Education and Defense have launched a “Learning Registry,” designed to improve the quality and availability of learning resources in education. The Learning Registry is an open source communication system that allows existing educational portals and online systems to publish, consume, and share important information about learning resources with each other and the public, while respecting the privacy of individual users. The community and technology are intended to create opportunities for future innovation in areas that are just now starting to be explored. You can read U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s remarks about the launch at the U.S. Education Department website.

Deadline Approaching for Speak Up Survey
The Speak Up 2011 survey is open to participants through December 23. Since Project Tomorrow launched the survey in 2003, over 190,000 students, parents and educators have shared their ideas about the use of technology in education. The survey findings are summarized and shared with education and policy leaders in Washington D.C. and the states.

Watch Trend Micro's Winning "What's Your Story?" Internet Safety Video
Trend Micro recently named a winner for its "What’s Your Story" video contest which challenged students to create a video to teach others how to be safe and responsible online. The two-minute winning video is available to view for free at the TrendMicro website.

NatureBridge Launches Green Website for Kids
Environmental education non-profit organization, NatureBridge, has launched MyGarbology, a new website and game to teach kids how to reduce waste and be more aware of their impact on the environment. Tested by classroom teachers and parents, MyGarbology is a tool designed to get schools and families involved in sustainable actions such as recycling, composting, reducing toxins and saving water.

NCCP Tool Shows Child Risk Factors by State
The National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University gives a state-by-state breakdown of risk factors faced by children. The risk factors used in this tool are known to increase the chance of poor health, school, and developmental outcomes for young children.
 


Scholastic/Lexus Environmental Challenge Offers Rewards for Green Initiatives
The Scholastic Lexus Environmental Challenge program is designed to educate and empower students to take action to improve the environment, encouraging middle and high school students across the United States to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities. Middle and high school teams comprised of five to ten students and one teacher advisor are invited to participate in four initial challenges, each addressing a different environmental element – land, water, air, and climate. The maximum award is $30,000. Students grades 6-12 and their teachers are eligible to apply. The deadline for Challenge #2: Air/Climate is December 19, 2011.

Captain Planet Foundation Offers Grants for the Environment
The Captain Planet Foundation funds hands-on environmental projects to encourage youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. The maximum award is $2,500. U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million are eligible. The deadline is January 15, 2012.

USBBY Offers Bridge to Understanding Award
The Bridge to Understanding Award formally acknowledges the work of adults who create programs that use children’s books to explore cultures around the world in order to promote international understanding among children. These programs should be based in a broad understanding of culture as ways of living and being in the world that go beyond the surface features of food, fashion, folklore, famous people, and festivals. Organizations eligible for this award include schools, libraries, scout troops, clubs, and bookstores. The program may be a one-time event or an ongoing series that serves children ranging in age from kindergarten through tenth grade. The award carries a monetary prize of $1000 and a certificate. The submission deadline for the next award is January 31, 2012.

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Now Accepting Online Submissions for Minigrant Award
This year marks the 24th annual call for grant proposals by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. The Foundation, established by renowned author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, has awarded over half a million dollars in grants to public schools and libraries in all 50 states and the U.S. Commonwealth since 1987. The deadline for submission of proposals for the $500 Minigrant award is March 15, 2012. Proposals will be read directly after the March deadline, and winners will be announced starting on May 15. Decisions will be emailed to all applicants after May 15. All Minigrant applications are available exclusively online at the Foundation's Website and must be submitted electronically. The foundation also offers a video tutorial explaining the process on its Website.

Next Generation Learning Challenges Announces Third Wave of Grants
Recognizing the need for a fundamental change in the way education is designed and delivered across secondary and postsecondary institutions, Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) has announced the availability of $12 million in grants for comprehensive whole school and college models that use technology to achieve more personalized learning experiences. Funding is being provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Initial applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 8, 2012. Visit the Next Generation website for more information.

Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Offers Grants to Help Inner-City Educators
The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corporation's Limited GEO: Grants to Help Inner-City Educators will fund specific, one-time future education-related needs or ideas that promise to improve inner city education within one year. Small, concrete projects that will improve inner-city education in Boston, Hartford, Providence, New York or Washington, D.C. within the coming year are eligible. The maximum award is $2,000 and the deadline is ongoing.

New National Program Recognizes Student Poets
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS), in partnership with the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, has created the National Student Poets Program (NSPP) to honor youth poets whose original work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise. From a group of national winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, a jury of literacy luminaries will choose five teen poets. Each teen will receive an academic award of $5,000, work with poet mentors, promote the importance of poetry and creative expression through readings and workshops, and will be featured at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, in cooperation with the Library of Congress. To be considered for the NSPP, students must be in grades 9, 10 or 11 and be enrolled in a public, private, parochial, home-school or out-of-school program. Students must also win a gold or silver medal award in poetry in the 2012 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Deadlines for the scholastic awards vary by region. NSPP Awards will be presented in September 2012.



Empower Your Community at the 2012 ALA Midwinter Meeting Advocacy Institute
"Mobilizing Community Support for Your Library" is the focus of the Advocacy Institute Workshop at the ALA's 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The workshop will take place Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Omni Hotel Dallas. It is offered in conjunction with The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations' (ALTAFF) morning program, "Teeter-tottering on the Edge of the Future: Transforming Libraries," with keynote speaker, Dr. Ron Heezen, executive director of the Shreve Memorial Library in Shreveport, La.

Friday's events are the first in a series of presentations on empowering communities and library transformation. On Saturday Jan. 21, and Sunday, Jan. 22, join ALA President Molly Raphael and David Lankes, professor at Syracuse iSchool, for a discussion about the evolving needs of our communities and how we can transform libraries to meet current challenges. Both sessions run from 1 -3 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center, Room DCC-A1 and are open to all Midwinter Meeting attendees. Rich Harwood continues the conversation as the featured speaker in President Raphael’s President's Program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the DCC Theater.

"Mobilizing Community Support for Your Library: An Advocacy Institute Workshop" is sponsored by the Texas Library Association, and is presented in partnership with AASL and ALTAFF. To register, visit the Advocacy Events page on the ALA website.

Free Webinar on Hybrid Learning and Technology
A free webinar hosted by Education Week on how educators can use technology to blend learning, personalize education and raise student achievement will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET. To register for this free webinar, visit the website.

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Free Toolkits Now Available for Digital Learning Day
To celebrate national Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, Digitallearningday.org is now offering free toolkits that include links and references to instructional strategy ideas, lesson plans, sample outreach, ways to collaborate, and resources. There are toolkits for all audiences, grades, and subjects to help you think about how you can contribute to the campaign. Digital Learning Day will celebrate innovative teaching practices that make learning more personalized and engaging and encourage exploration of how digital learning can provide more students with more opportunities to get the skills they need to succeed in college, career, and life. On Digital Learning Day a national town hall meeting will be held to highlight and celebrate participants across the nation. Various webinars, online sharing opportunities, and recognition will also be available that day and throughout the year. It’s more than just one day. AASL, a core partner with the Alliance for Excellent Education, welcomes your participation in signing up to learn more as well as in spreading the word within your communities and stakeholder groups.

P21 Offers Free Recording of 21st Century Skills Map for the Arts Webinar
P21 co-hosted three webinars on its 21st Century Skills Map for the Arts and its benefits for the arts community nationwide, with the help of National Association for Music Education, Crayola and EdLeader21. The map provides educator-created examples of how art subjects (dance, music, theatre, and visual and media arts) can be fused with skills to create engaging learning experiences that promote 21st century knowledge and skill acquisition. In addition to aligning teaching and learning to the demands of today’s world, the map cites specific student outcomes and provides project examples for grades four, eight and 12. If you missed the webinars, you can view a recording of the third webinar at the P21 website, and review a list of suggested action steps and resources!

National STEM Video Game Challenge Now Accepting Entries!
The second annual National STEM Video Game Challenge is officially open for entries! This nationwide challenge invites game makers young and adult to show their passion for playing and making video games. This competition aims to motivate children's interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The Youth Prizes (Middle School & High School) aims to motivate and engage students in STEM Learning, 21st Century Literacy Skills and Systems Thinking by challenging them to design and create original video games. The Adult Prizes (Collegiate & Educator) challenges emerging game developers to design video games for children that teach key STEM concepts and foster an interest in STEM subject areas. The entry period is open through March 12th, 2012. Finalists will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges and winners will be announced in Spring 2012. Almost $200K in cash and prizes will be available, with multiple ways to win! This competition is being held by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, in partnership with sponsors AMD Foundation, Entertainment Software Association, Microsoft XBOX360, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting PBS KIDS Ready To Learn initiative. AASL is proud to be an original founding Outreach Partner for this challenge.
 
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Jane Martellino Receives Heart of Women Award
Congratulations to Jane Martellino, AASL member and school librarian at Consolidated School in New Fairfield, Connecticut, who has been named as the first recipient of the Heart of Women Award by the Women's Business Council of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. Jane is the founder of Yes, Grace Rocks which supports families of children with brain tumors or brain injury.


Elizabeth Kahn Receives Gale TEAMS Award
AASL member and Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy school librarian Elizabeth Kahn received the 2011 Gale/Library Media Connection TEAMS Award for middle school, along with English teacher Lisa Valence. They worked together on a six-week research project to help improve student research skills at their school in Jefferson, La. Earlier in the year, Elizabeth was also named the School Library Media Specialist of the Year by the Louisiana Association of School Librarians. The award recognizes a school library media specialist who has demonstrated through action and philosophy a dedication to the mission and goals of the media specialist profession. You can read more about Elizabeth receiving the School Library Media Specialist of the Year Award on her blog, Tales From a Loud Librarian.

Della Curtis Named 2011 Tech & Learning Leader
Tech & Learning magazine recently named Della Curtis one of three winners in its 2011 Tech & Learning Leader of the Year program. An AASL member and Coordinator of Library Information Services at Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), Della was honored for her extraordinary education technology leadership, often working within budgetary restrictions and limited resources, and her recognition of the role technology plays in empowering students to develop their full learning potential. "Della continuously updates herself on what technology is available and how it may be used to improve instruction. Through her efforts, the achievement level of our students has continued to rise, the quality of education improve, and preparation of our students to succeed in a world where an understanding of technology important, but necessary," said Robert Zienta, a library information specialist at BCPS.

 
We love to brag about our members! Looking to make it into AASL's Member Spotlight? Submit your spotlight to Markisan Naso for inclusion in the next Member Spotlight segment.
 
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