Maya Angelou once said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” Very few things in life are as empowering as reading. Whether “reading” the pictures of a book or reading the text itself, as a first grade teacher and future librarian, I have seen this empowerment first hand.
Promoting a lifelong love of reading is something I am passionate about; so I am writing to inform your readers about School Library Month, which takes place annually every April. Andy Weir, author of “The Martian,” is this year’s spokesperson. If you have read his book and/or seen the movie by the same name, you know that the main character, Mark Watney, “epitomizes creativity and perseverance” (AASL President A. Church, 2017). In much the same way, school libraries “empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information.” (American Association of School Librarians, 2009). This year’s theme, “Because School Libraries Empower Students,” embraces the mission of the school library program.
The school library is the heart of the school where students, staff, and community members are welcome to gather in a friendly space to access information in traditional print and multimedia non-print formats. The school library provides students a variety of resources that reflect the multicultural community from which they come and the diverse interests they enjoy. The school library empowers students to discover, think, and inquire about the world around them through reading. As Frederick Douglass once said, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” Please join me and School Librarians around country as we celebrate School Library Month.
Leslie A. Dunbar
First Grade Teacher
Bull Run Elementary