launches ‘600 Books of Hope’ donation initiative for Uvalde students | News

Read about a student book donation project in Uvalde, TX; an appeal to Congress from the education community; News Literacy Project Educator and Student of the Year; and IMLS research on public libraries during the pandemic in this edition of News Bites.

Book donation project for students in Uvalde, Texas exceeds initial expectations, educational organizations call on Congress to pass gun safety laws, News Literacy Project names educator and Student of the Year, and IMLS publishes research on public libraries during the pandemic in this edition of News Bites.


In the aftermath of the Uvalde tragedy, eE Charlton-Trujillo, a Mexican author, filmmaker and youth literacy activist, launched 600 Books of Hope.

The idea was to collect 600 new books from discerning children’s creators and publishers to give away to kids at Robb Elementary School. Soon, the idea expanded to add a 1,300-pound goal for other elementary schools in Uvalde. Now the project has grown even bigger, collecting books for middle and high school students. The creators and publishers have provided support, including donations from Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, Cameron Kids-Abrams, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon and Schuster. The goal is for each Uvalde student to receive a book.

Charlton-Trujillo was inspired to action when they read the story of children’s librarian Martha Carreon, who held a story hour at the El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde the day after the shooting. The library manager said he keeps the library open because it is a safe place, a refuge and an escape.

“We all know this because we write or publish books for children who seek that refuge, that safe place, that escape in libraries,” Charlton-Trujillo wrote on her website. “We are the architects of story, imagination, humor, heart and hope. And that’s why I think this is a time when we can meet tragedy and heartbreak. of love with compassion, kindness and history.

“600 Books of Hope is an opportunity for us, as a community of artists and writers, and the companies that publish us, to embrace the children of Robb Elementary School. My goal is to raise a minimum of 600 pounds of hope so that each child receives a book.A tangible thing they can take with them that might shine a ray of promise in their unbearable darkness.…

“We cannot undo the tragedy of what happened at Robb Elementary School and in the town of Uvalde. But we can come together as a community of artists and publishers and offer them the best of what we do. We can share our words, our stories, our images and in doing so shine a literary light in the darkness.

The books will be distributed through a partnership with El Progreso Memorial Library and Family Service, a San Antonio nonprofit organization. Trujillo plans to have regional authors and illustrators at an in-person event for book distribution.

While authors, illustrators and publishers have donated, anyone can donate books to the initiative. Those interested can fill out a form to receive more information about the initiative.


K-12 organizations call on Congress to pass gun laws

Seventeen organizations representing the K-12 community, including the National Education Association, School Superintendents Association, National Association of School Psychologists, American Federation of School Administrators, and National PTA, signed a letter to Congress. urging lawmakers to “quickly pass legislation that will address the senseless epidemic of gun violence in this country.

The letter said:

“Schools and educators alone cannot bear full responsibility for addressing the public health crisis of gun violence. The answer to stopping gun violence in our schools is not to arm our educators or focus solely on better managing the mental health crisis. As a nation, we need to look closely at the various societal factors that contribute to our high rates of gun violence and suicide and commit to taking meaningful action.

“Specifically, we call on Congress to pass gun violence prevention legislation that:

• Prevent access to dangerous weapons by those considered to be at risk of harming themselves or others

• Expand background checks for all gun buyers

• Increase investments for rigorous research on gun violence prevention

“Without a doubt, improving access to comprehensive mental and behavioral health services, both in communities and in schools, is of paramount importance. In school settings, access to comprehensive mental and behavioral health services (and to professionals such as school psychologists, school counselors and school social workers) is a key part of a comprehensive approach to school safety. ‘school.

“To that end, we call on Congress to provide significant, targeted funding to existing funding streams rather than creating new programs. Collectively, the Mental Health Professionals Demonstration Grant Program, the School Mental Health Services Grant, and the STOP School Violence Act represent three existing funding sources that support increased access to comprehensive school mental health services and professionals, and evidence-based violence support. prevention strategies.

“We also urge Congress to continue its bipartisan and bicameral work to address the youth mental health crisis by creating the mental health workforce pipeline in schools, expanding access to mental and behavioral health services reimbursable by Medicaid in schools and expanding collaboration and coordination between the US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services in their work with schools and school providers.

“Our students deserve to go to school and thrive in communities where they are safe. To achieve this goal, we need laws that address the epidemic of gun violence and ensure that our children and educators can learn and work without constant fear for their lives.”


Jamie Gregory is the News Literacy Project’s Educator of the Year

The News Literacy Project (NLP) has announced its 2022 Educator and Student of the Year winners.

The winners are “media literacy changemakers who have distinguished themselves through their commitment to media literacy in their classrooms, in their professions, and in their daily lives.”

The Alan C. Miller Educator of the Year is Jamie Gregory, librarian and journalism professor at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC.

Gregory has made media literacy a core part of his journalism courses and has also worked with colleagues from all disciplines to help them integrate the topic into their courses in relevant and meaningful ways.

“I feel the information literacy I have provided to my students has been transformative for them,” Gregory said in a statement. “Students can have more complex and in-depth conversations about the types of information they consume.”

The Gwen Ifill Student of the Year Award went to Alysa Baltimore, a student at Station Camp High School in Gallatin, TN. Baltimore said becoming more informed about the news allowed her to do more research on mass incarceration, an issue important to her. By simply using the NLP Checkology lessons, she discovered that “[o]On the surface, Checkology can be seen as mere lessons in finding quality papers, but it ultimately led me to develop a passion for equality, fairness and justice,” she said. in a press release.


IMLS publishes research on public libraries and the pandemic

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has published two research on libraries and the pandemic.

The first, a two-page infographic titled “How Public Libraries Adapted to Serve Their Communities at the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” highlights the strategies used by public libraries to ensure patrons had access to library services as the pandemic forced closures in communities around the country.

Results from March to May 2020 include:

  • More than 90% of the public libraries in the analysis group continued to provide services despite the closure of their buildings.
  • Nearly two-thirds of libraries increased the number of electronic documents available to the public and offered live virtual programming to patrons in the first three months.

IMLS also released the latest research brief on the State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) Survey, titled “Adaptations of State Library Administrative Agencies in the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic.” and Current Trends,” which chronicles how SLAAs have formed new partnerships with other governments. departments and agencies to provide services to libraries. The note also describes how SLAAs have adapted to new restrictions related to on-site work.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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