By Ciara Vargas, HFH Library Manager & Hartranft Library Coordinator
I am honored to have been selected by Jean Warrington for a position that has truly changed my life. Overall, my goal is to provide nurturing spaces where children feel safe, seen, and listened to. As a child, school was my safe haven and that is exactly what I desire for each child to feel. I want to partner with parents to provide an inclusive space filled with support and resources. My dream is that one day in the near future, each school will reopen their libraries so that children can benefit from free access to quality books.
It has been a rewarding and challenging year! Each of our library coordinators has made a great difference in the lives of our cherished students, supported school staff, and gone above and beyond. They are a wonderful team.
Julia de Burgos Elementary School
This year Ms. Guzman and Ike Pickett have worked well together in their efforts to share their love of books. Students have participated and benefited from their creativity and both of them have provided numerous read alouds, assistance with selecting great books, and after school book give away tables. Ike has been able to connect with parents and caregivers after school by providing free books to build at home libraries. Our de Burgos parents requested more bilingual books. The parents asked and we answered by ordering some really terrific bilingual books for students to take home and enjoy over the summer.
Potter-Thomas Elementary School
We are thankful for a very successful first year with the Potter-Thomas library. Principal Polk has been incredibly supportive of our library efforts. Potter is a school where the library is always filled with students and where teachers and staff value the importance of the space. Vanessa Tshionyi has worked with teachers to provide an excellent library experience. Vanessa has listened closely to students and has worked to make each child feel comfortable and excited about reading. Ike has also assited with the Potter library and has helped to create fantastic memories of reading books together.
Hartranft Elementary School
I absolutely cherish my incredible students! They fill my days with bright smiles and they each beam with excitement for read alouds and book check-outs. I am thankful for the support of Principal Arrington, Assistant Principal Green, all of the incredible teachers, staff, and SAC committee at Hartranft. This year, I shared powerful stories like “All Because You Matter,” “You Are Enough,” and “I Promise.” These books are filled with hope and challenge our students to value themselves and others. One of my many dreams has come true because local author and Hartranft alumni Ronald Glover came and read to one of our third grade classrooms. Mr. Glover will be returning next school year and together we are planning to offer writing workshops for students who want to become authors.
La Fuerza de Familias Latinas Workshops
I am grateful for the La Fuerza partnership and opportunity to work with Jess on this endeavor. La Fuerza workshops are more than literacy suggestions and activities, it is a community of Latinx families who desire for their children to achieve academic excellence. The dedicated parents do not allow obstacles like language barriers to stand in their way. Each parent leads by example and demonstrates the importance of striving for more. Jess and I are proud that we have been able to work hard and create long-term relationships with parents in our beloved community because we know that children thrive when the entire family is provided with resources and cared for. Next year, we look forward to providing these workshops on a quarterly basis.
I am also happy to announce that I have been selected for a Wilson Reading Tutoring scholarship to help me become a certified literacy tutor. This certification will give me the chance to select students and tutor them one-on-one so that their reading and fluency can improve. Also, I am hoping to assist with gaining many more school partnerships because we all play a part in the lives of our future leaders.
Over 20,000 books were checked out from our partner schools this year! If you would like to donate books, send us an email or make a donation from our Wishlist. We are also starting to recruit Library Helpers for the 2022-23 school year.