S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
William Allen White Book Award Program
The mission of the Sterling Grade School Library Media Program is to ensure that all students and staff have the information, tools, skills and opportunities they need to solve problems, achieve and grow.
Sterling Grade School Library will:
Provide books, media, technology and other tools to support academic and recreational learning.
Provide instruction and experience in effectively locating, evaluating and using information (Information Literacy Skills) and navigating the online world safely, effectively and ethically (Digital Citizenship Skills).
Provide enrichment activities and programs to encourage lifelong learning, collaboration, and problem solving.
To provide resources and instruction that will empower users to read for pleasure, explore ideas and solve problems, engage ethically in the global community, and share understandings in new ways.
Read, Learn, Create, Share
The library is a user-centered hub of learning in our school. Our library program goals are to provide books, technology, and other tools to support academic and recreational learning, to teach information literacy and digital citizenship skills, and to provide enrichment activities and programs to encourage lifelong learning, collaboration, and problem solving. Annual circulation tops 24,000 checkouts, and our collection features high-quality, engaging books that are aligned to the curriculum. Each month grades K-5 students have two library skills lessons and two storytime sessions, and students have daily access to check out books. The library curriculum includes topics such as: library use, digital citizenship, research skills, ebook and audiobook access, and technology. An up-to-date website of online resources is available all year long, even when school is not in session, and is promoted to students and parents. Special programs include student voting in our state reader's choice award, Battle of the Books competition, Read Across America activities, author visits, and book fairs. Our library has started a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) makerspace program featuring hands-on materials purchased through grant funding. The library regularly collaborates with community groups such as the Sterling College Education Department and the public library.
Library skills classes for grades K-5 are taught by Amy Brownlee, K-12 Library Media Specialist. Lessons focus on three goal areas: library use; digital citizenship and information literacy; and learning enrichment / reading enjoyment. Library skills lessons are aligned with the following state standards:
Kansas Reading Standards (ELA KCCRS)
Below is a curriculum outline for library skills.
Digital Citizenship & Information Literacy
Storytime in the library is provided approximately 2 times per month for students in grades K-5 and weekly for preschool beginning in October. Storytellers include Sterling Grade School staff members, parents of SGS students, jr. high and high school students, college students, and community members. Storytime participants listen to and discuss stories, engage in activities, and learn about trips taken and other experiences of the storytellers. This literature enrichment activity builds a love of reading, books and learning in young audiences.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is a computerized reading incentive program. Students take a STAR test to determine their reading range. This helps them select books that are "just right," not too easy or too hard. Books in the library that are part of the AR program are marked on the spine with a colored dot that shows the book's reading level and with a label inside the cover listing the book's reading level and point value. Students read the book, then take a comprehension test on the computer. Readers receive instant feedback, so they know right away how well they understood the book. Students earn points through the AR program and can earn prizes and privileges through reading AR books. Monthly drawings are held for each classroom, and winning students can earn a pizza lunch. Classroom teachers set AR point goals for their students, and quarterly parties are held for students meeting their AR goals. Past parties have included roller skating, bowling, swimming, and movie parties. Michelle Miller is the district-wide AR Program Administrator.
The William Allen White Children's Book Award program (WAW) is a state-wide reader's choice award. Any Kansas student in grades 3-8 who reads at least two books from the list of nominated titles is eligible to vote for their favorite book in April. Votes are tallied from across the state, and the winning author is invited to Kansas to receive the award. Learn more about the current year's nominees on our school's WAW webpage.
Each year we kick off the WAW program in Sept. with all students being introduced to the current year's books in their library skills classes. Students receive bookmarks listing the current WAW titles, and the list is also available online. The list is divided into two age categories: grades 3-5, and grades 6-8. In general, the books on each list are intended for a target audience of children in the specified grade level. However, students are welcome to read books off of both lists, and there are many titles that would be appropriate for both age ranges.
As a special reward for students with outstanding participation in the WAW program, students who meet the reading requirements will be invited to an ice cream sundae party in the spring to celebrate their reading success. A WAW chart is located in each teacher's classroom, and students are invited to mark the chart when they read a WAW book and pass the AR test. Because of the high quality of the literature, teachers are allowing students to AR test on any WAW book, regardless of its reading level. We have set reading goals for each grade level and ask that students pass AR tests at 70% or higher (60% acceptable for difficult nonfiction) or have a teacher's or parent's verification that the book has been read. These books can be read to, read with, or read independently.
3rd Grade = 5 books
4th Grade = 6 books
5th Grade = 7 books
6th Grade = 8 books
Voting is in early April, and eligibility for the ice cream sundae party will be decided at voting time. Thank you for your support of the WAW reading incentive program!
SGS students in 5 th and 6th grades have the option to participate in a competition called “Battle of the Books” (BOB) sponsored by the Sterling Grade School Library. This program encourages students to read books on a specific list, and the “battle” is a quiz bowl-style competition where students answer questions about the books. The goal of the program is to get kids reading and discussing good books.
The selected books have been nominated for this year’s William Allen White (WAW) Children’s Book Award. This is the statewide reader’s choice award for Kansas students in grades 3-8. Each year new books are nominated, and students are encouraged to read the books and vote for their favorites. The authors of the winning books come to Kansas to receive their awards and to meet and speak to students. You can learn more about the program on their website: wawchildrensbookaward.com.
For the Battle of the Books competition, students work together in teams of 4-6 people to read all the books on both the 3rd-5th and 6th-8th grade William Allen White lists. This is about 5-6 books per student, and they must be read by the second week of May. During the competition, students are asked questions about the books and receive points for answering the correct title and author’s last name. They may confer with their team before answering, so it is important someone on the team has read the book.
Students who wish to participate must agree to read the books assigned by the middle of May. Once students have turned in their parent permission form, Mrs. Brownlee forms teams. Students may make a written request for specific teammates. An attempt to meet student requests will be made, but not guaranteed. Teams then meet in the library during lunch and students will decide what books each person is responsible for. Books are available to check out through our library (we have multiple copies), the public library, or you may purchase them on your own (if you wish). The librarian meets with the teams periodically to check their progress and be sure everyone understands the rules and procedures of the competition, but reading the books and preparing for the competition is the students’ responsibility. The competition occurs in May and parents, family members, and students in grades 3-6 are invited to attend.