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LISD Librarian Meets the Needs of ESL Readers with LEF Teacher Grant

There are many elements about the 2020 school experience that are different but LISD has worked hard to make sure the quality of learning for students remains the same, if not better than previous years. One such example of these developments is seen in the eyes of Central Elementary librarian, Katie Delamarter, the joy in them apparent even though her smile is hidden behind a colorful mask as she walks down the halls with a mobile library cart.

A five-time recipient of LEF Teacher Grants, Delamarter has a large collection of books to offer young students, for both English and Spanish-readers alike, a necessity in the diverse community Central Elementary serves. In August of 2019, Delamarter was awarded $2500 from Point Bank’s Fund-A-Future Grant to purchase 149 new library books including 58 Spanish titles.

Teacher Grant Surprise Awards in August 2019

“I was in the middle of a 1st Grade class when the committee came into the Library to give me the good news and the students were just as excited as I was about being able to get new library books which made my heart so very happy that they love books just as much as I do,” says Delamarter. “I have the absolute best job in the world as the librarian at Central Elementary because I get to help students fall in love with reading, discover the magic of opening a book and all of the possibilities and experiences that await them when they visit a library. It can get quite expensive to buy books in both languages and that’s where community support through LEF Grants has become invaluable to the Central Library.”

Later in October 2019, when the purchased books arrived at the library and were shelved and made available for check-out, it wasn’t long before the shelves found themselves nearly empty again as students quickly checked out the books, eager to delve into the adventures waiting inside their pages. In her end-of-year evaluation of the success of her grant project, Delamarter found that on average, each book circulated 12.3 times with one of the more popular books having 26 circulations in just 6 months.

Central Elementary Students in Early Spring of 2020 with the new books.

This year, there are no bustling groups of children to be found in the library as social distancing and sanitation regulations limit student activities in a global pandemic. Delamarter and other librarians can still be found providing books and resources to in-person and virtual students alike.

“Librarians are such innovative, resourceful people and we have the best Librarians in LISD!  The whole team of LISD librarians has quickly adapted to bringing the Library experience to the classrooms for our in-person students by loading up carts of books and being mobile librarians. We also provide services for our virtual students such as coordinating and scheduling the pick-up of library books that we run out to their cars as well as joining WebEx sessions to collaboratively teach lessons with their virtual teachers,” says Delamarter.

In addition to the mobile library experience, librarians are also teaching students how to be responsible users of the digital and online resources LISD provides and safeguard students’ health by quarantining all returned Library materials for a minimum of 96 hours.

Katie Delamarter isn’t the only LEF grant recipient to adapt her grant to fulfill student’s needs in the time of a pandemic and most certainly will not be the last. LEF Teacher Grants continue to be available to teachers and staff needing resources for projects that positively impact students and this October 2020, LEF will award nearly $103,000 to applicants all over the district.

Help change children’s lives today by donating to the Teacher Grant fund.

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