Cultivating Passion for Reading, Learning & Exploration in the Oakridge Library
“School libraries promote intelligence, curiosity, and creativity… and generally speaking, they cultivate better and more interesting human beings,” said Ambassador for School Libraries John Schu.
The mission of The Oakridge School Library is to serve as the heart of the school, a patron centered, multi-purposeful 21st century learning space designed for reading, research and creating. The library’s flexible design accommodates makerspaces, a radio station, quiet reading and study zones, a storytelling area, collaborative interactive seating, and instructional rooms. The library hosts an outstanding collection of print and eBooks, STEM and technology tools, and multimedia including online and print journals and newspapers. These digital and print materials provide the community with access to rich reading experiences.
Students in Pre-Kindergarten through Middle School visit the library weekly for interactive lessons on information literacy and literary appreciation while upper school students utilize the space regularly for study hall and research assistance. This creates a welcoming and busy common space where service to all patrons is a priority.
Programming is another important piece of the Oakridge Library and includes themed craft events, guest speakers, parent and grandparent volunteer opportunities, a Library Survivor competition, reading promotion, student library intern opportunities, a current events elective, three book clubs, reading contests, a Scholastic Book Fair, World Read Aloud Day, and visiting authors.
In early February 2019, enthusiastic teachers and students tie-dyed t-shirts and wore them especially for their visit from Canadian author Gordon Korman. His books, which include Schooled, Jackpot, Pop, Memory Maze, and many others, have been translated in 32 languages and have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. His novels are extremely popular at Oakridge and his presentation focused on the steps of the writing process. They include research, brainstorming, developing characters, dialogue, rewriting and revision.
Author Aaron Reynolds will meet with Oakridge first- through third-grade students in October 2019. He is the New York Times bestselling author of many award-winning picture books and graphic novels including Creepy Carrots, Nerdy Bird Tweets, and Caveboy Dave. He has a passion for kids’ books and his school visits with Lower School students are described as hands-on and engaging.
The visiting authors for 2017-2018 were Sarah Weeks, who coordinated her visit with the release of her book to film So B It, and Chris Grabenstein. Grabenstein is the author of the Wonderland and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series. He is also the co-author, with James Patterson, of the bestsellers I Funny, House of Robots, Treasure Hunters, among others. These original, fast-paced and funny books are quite popular with Oakridge readers who eagerly anticipated the author’s arrival in February 2018.
During the visit, in which he waived his fee upon acceptance of a proposal submitted by our school, the author held three interactive presentations motivating third- through sixth-grade students to find joy in reading and writing. He lunched with a group of Oakridge Middle School students and held a writer’s workshop for Upper School authors. These events enthused and excited our students and have left a long-lasting impact. These events have excited our students and left a long-lasting impact. The author visits are invaluable to students as they encourage reading for pleasure and make the writing process more accessible.
The Oakridge Library plays a crucial role in cultivating a passion for reading, learning and exploration to best prepare our students for success in college and beyond. We are open before and after school and invite the community to enjoy our lovely space and all it has to offer.
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