The updated Alaska school library standards are not just about books. They are based on the six foundations of Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore and Engage. Some or all of these foundations can apply to and enhance ALL educational experiences, including the Sudoku board found in the Valdez High School Library.
VHS Library Associate Pamela Verfaillie was approached by math teacher Rachel Hamilton, thinking that she might be interested in a giant Sudoku board (seen on Teachers Pay Teachers). Mrs. Hamilton was right. They purchased one of the available TpT Sudoku kits and created a 2’x3’ station in the library. It is frequently in use and puzzles sometimes need to be changed out more than once in a day (it is set up so students can do that themselves).
Students and staff have been under increasing amounts of stress, from the pandemic, social media overload, and a myriad of other causes. This year, the Lighthouse Room was installed in the Valdez High School library (a central location within our building) to help students manage their stress and other mental health challenges.
Each year, students in Mrs. Walker’s junior English class research and write a persuasive essay. This is one of the best known assignments at Valdez High School and is often approached by students with more trepidation than anticipation.
This year, thankfully, we are starting to see a shift in the mindset. Ok, not the mindset BEFORE they start the assignment, but as the students progress, they come to understand the value of what they are learning.
“We love kids. We love books. We love to serve.” This was a recent consensus made by the combined library staff in Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as to why we work in a school library. And that, my friends, is why K-12 school libraries are important. Kids need love. Kids need books. Kids need help.