When a book read to a class inspires a budding engineer to build…
Where does the time go? It just seems like yesterday that we arrived back at school, relaxed after a long and lazy summer and very excited to be back. Today we are celebrating the end of the term with our Winter Concert. Somewhere in between we have had a Book Fair, Drop Everything and Read, a DK Book Sale, so many other special events and always lots of good books to read. And not to forget that every Friday we celebrate ….. Friday with coffee and treats beginning about 8:30 in the Library for parents and staff.
I would like to thank all my helpers, big and little. Meaning my wonderful parent volunteers headed by Jeanie and also my capable and hardworking student monitors. You all make such a difference in keeping our Library organized and neat and running smoothly. I hope you students all got a candy cane this week as a very small token of thanks.
To all the amazing helpers at our book sales another very big thank you. The success of the fairs is due to your volunteering your valuable time in helping out.
I would also like to thank the PAC for all your support of the Library with money to buy so many great books. I think everyone might be tired of me saying we are a community of readers but, trust me, we are. Students are coming daily to the Library to see the latest and best in children’s literature and what a delight to talk about all those books with them. It makes my job so meaningful.
So, to all of you, have a wonderful holiday and see you in the new year. And don’t forget to please bring all your Library books back the very first day!
I would like to take a moment and thank our Maple Grove community for their wonderful support for our June Book Fair. To all the parent volunteers go my sincere thanks. It is so kind of you to take time out of your very busy lives to come and help out. I could not do this without you. The Book Fair put lots of amazing books into the hands of the students for their summer reading and the profit we made helped put some special books into our Library for September. Thank you all.
It is hard to believe that it will be three years ago next week that I began our Friday Morning Coffee in the Library. That very first one was a way to celebrate Lunar New Year and I arranged for coffee, tea and fortune cookies! There was a very warm feeling of community among the parents and staff who attended. Encouraged by many I did it again the next week, and then the next and the next. Now it is a staple in my week that I, and so many of our community, embrace. The positive comments and appreciation over the years have warmed my heart. To hear of the way it has made you feel connected to one another is so rewarding and it makes Maple Grove a better place to be a part of.
That first year I had my trusty old coffee pot and every week made 36 cups of coffee. And then it was 42 and now I make 60 cups plus one or two big pots of tea with hot chocolate also added in these cold winter months. To see that many parents and staff heading to the already bustling Library is an awesome sight. It is loud and busy and full of a positive energy. We have come together, gotten to know one another whether in the traditional program or the Montessori, whether parents of older students or kindergarteners, whether new to the school or here for many years. Talks revolve around our children, our interests, our community and life in general.
But I could not write about this success without mentioning Alexis Zehr and her scones. Unfailingly she has provided us weekly with these delectable treats from her grandmother’s recipe; rich, dark chocolate scones, ones with fresh raspberries or cheddar and apple, sometimes ones with warm and gooey chocolate chips and yes, just plain, delicious regular ones. They feed us in more ways than one and we love and appreciate Alexis so much for doing this.
And there are so many other parents and staff who also contribute that each week is truly a feast. My deepest thanks to you all so much .
And thank you to Mrs. Plavan for all the assistance she so generously gives. On Thursday night, before I leave, I usually have the cups out, the plates ready, the napkins placed and maybe a plant to make it feel like a party. The coffee pot is filled and ready to be plugged in and I know that Mrs. Plavan will be there to turn it on at 7:30 in the morning so it will be ready for the first arrivals at 8:30. She has also baked and baked some more at the end of her very busy day. Thank you so very much for all your support and help. I could not do this without you.
And finally thanks go to Nancy and Julie who are the elves behind the scene who do the dishes and clean up all the remnants of the morning . I am very grateful.
If you have not already joined us, please do. If we run out of coffee I will simply make more. The pot holds 100 cups!
What a wonderful week it was! January 25 to January 29 was Turn Off The Screen Week at Maple Grove. This is an initiative that is centered around Family Literacy Day held every year on January 27th. Division 4 helped spearhead the event this year and made enthusiastic announcements to encourage students to turn off their screens and turn on to books, crafts or games instead. They handed out home made bookmarks to every student as a reminder and made posters to demonstrate what they were going to do instead of watching tv and playing video games. Each student also received a sheet of forms that were to be filled in daily if the student was successful in turning off their screens. The forms came back to the Library where I had arranged for a draw that saw prizes handed out to some lucky winners. On Tuesday there were approximately 150 forms returned. On Wednesday there were over 180 forms returned while on Thursday over 200 students turned off their screens and remembered to return their forms. Friday saw another almost 200 successful students. In total 10 prizes, ranging from the book Wonder, gift certificates to Hager’s Books, Lego kits and craft kits were handed out. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated. Many parents commented that they would like to see this a monthly event!
On Wednesday, Family Literacy Day, there were a multitude of activities happening. Student Council sponsored Dress as Your Favourite Character Day and there were wonderful impersonations of Gooney Bird Green, Heidi, Harry Potter to list just a few. Camp Read was happening all over the school where classes celebrated the joys of reading. Sleeping bags, pillows, hot chocolate were often added in. Our kindergarten classes came to the Library and were thoroughly entertained by VPL librarian and MG parent Adam Smith with energetic songs and stories. What a delight and what a week!
We have a very small collection of Duplo in the Library. Our students love to use it and create but we need more pieces in order to do more. If any family has some they would like to donate the students and I would be greatly appreciative
I am always talking about books; to teachers, to kids, to parents and to other teacher-librarians. I think we all love books. I am constantly reading and recommending books to our students. “What was the last book you loved” gets me thinking about what they would like next but sometimes I just say “try this – I think you will love it”. And most times they do. I have just finished and loved Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt. This engaging book is about “that Kid”, the one who has put up a front in order to cover her real problem. I can hardly wait to put it into the hands of many of our readers.
Yesterday was DEAR ( drop everything and read) at Maple Grove for all our intermediate students. Our tradition here is for the students to head down to the gym where you can hear a pin drop as they sit engrossed in all sorts of wonderful books. Our students are readers!
Our primary students come to the Library and they DEAL ( drop everything and listen). Ms Hales read one of her favourite Elephant and Piggie books and the students adored it. They howled with laughter at the wonderful interpretation of our talented K teacher. I finished up the time by reading The Library Mouse; a perfect story about Sam the mouse who lived behind the reference section in a library.
This has been a very unusual but wonderful and busy start to the school year.
First week back- most students came in to borrow books and textbooks, there were class orientations and welcome back times and our first Friday morning coffee. We were very excited to welcome back Alexis, Brian, Helen and Madoc from their year in Sweden and of course appreciated Alexis’s delicious treats.
Second week back – Book Fair! A very special thank you to all the wonderful parent volunteers who helped to make this happen and thank you to the whole Maple Grove community for supporting this. This year I am hoping to begin an up-grade to the furniture and technology in the library and the profit from the Book Fair will get things started. On my wish list; new chairs and tables, laptops and designated iPads and a 3D printer.
And of course we had Friday morning coffee. Once again thank you to all parents for their delectable contributions over the year. Yum.
Third week back – The wonderful chaos of first period open book exchange, beginning research, planning with teachers, book a week bins for many classes, processing new books and Friday morning coffee. Remember everyone is welcome each week!
All our primary classes now have tubs of Halloween books that circulate amongst themselves. Lots of spooky stories to listen to.
Next week, on October 27, we DEAR – that means drop everything and read. This is a province wide initiative from the BCTLA where schools DEAR from 11:00 – 11:30. A fun way to celebrate books and reading and libraries so if you just happen to be in our school at that time and find it very quiet you will now know why.
Each morning our announcements include a quote of the day. These are from a very special book titled The 365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This is a companion book to Wonder, a truly inspiring book about a young boy and the challenges he faces. I hope our students and staff are using these quotes as a point of reflection and discussion. I think my favourite is – when given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.
And personally, I enjoyed one last walk along the beach. Aren’t we so lucky to live in such a beautiful city?