Closing Opportunity Gaps with Books
Books are a powerful thing. Sometimes their words sweep us away to magical, far-away places while other times they scare us and leave us shivering with every turn of the page. They teach and inspire us to be great and they wrap us up like a warm blanket – syllables melting into us like marshmallows into the hot cocoa. Books also bring us together by helping to build intentional partnerships between teachers, students, and communities.
The relationship between North Beach and Northgate elementary schools and Mary’s Place, a local non-profit helping to address the needs of families experiencing homelessness, is an inspiring example of how two communities can come together. It is also an example of how dedicated and determined Seattle Public Schools educators can meet the needs of students.
Recently, Northgate’s librarian, Kate Eads, discovered one out of every four of her students experience homelessness. A number of those children live, temporarily, at Mary’s Place. Curious about their reading materials, Kate asked Mary’s Place Kids Club what books they had available for kids after school. Most of the books were outdated and often unread.
Kate contacted North Beach librarian, Kristine McLane, and the two combined forces to raise money for a Mary’s Place book collection. In no time at all, the two librarians tripled their goal and on February 2, they delivered new books to Mary’s Place just in time for story time, a weekly event at Mary's Place that began in December 2016.
“I am honored to connect with students,” said Dr. Nyland about the special day. ”As well as celebrating not only the great gift these librarians have given our students, but their dedication to our community.”
Building “Positive Partnerships” and “Positive Relationships” are not only part of the district’s strategy to eliminating opportunity gaps. The district’s “Four P’s” create the roadmap for educators like Kate and Kristine to provide the best educational experience for all students.
Here’s more information on the district’s “Four P’s” and eliminating opportunity gaps.
Here’s more information on how you can help provide books.