Kingston media center recognized during open house
by Mark Andrews
Mar 25, 2012 | 3965 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leann Fowler, left, is shown some of the props used by Kingston Elementary students, from left, Jacob Rittweger, Savannah Grace Kimbrell, Jada Young, Gyllian Thomas and Ethan Smith, when they air their morning show from the media center. Friday, the media center held an open house to celebrate its Exceptional Library Media Program Award.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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In September, Kingston Elementary School received an Exceptional Library Media Program Award, which, according to the Georgia Department of Education's Judy Serritella, "honor[s] and recognize[s] outstanding library media programs and the library media specialists who create a nurturing environment, a place for learning outside of the classroom, and are educators in the true sense of the word."

On Friday the media center opened its doors to parents and community members to see the role the center plays at the school.

"[Lori Pilgrim] not only takes the role of media specialist, but she's a certified teacher as well," Principal Stefany Howard said.

Howard explained Pilgrim works with teachers and the school's technology specialist to help provide supplemental instruction to students while also meeting the various media-related needs of students and teachers.

"[Pilgrim and the media center] are the hub of this building. ... Without her, it wouldn't be possible," Howard said. "She's definitely got her hand in every academic aspect."

Students greeted guests at the open house and provided a tour for the various stations at the media center, which include a self-check out, computers for Accelerated Reader testing and a studio for producing WKES, the school's televised morning news show.

The students present during The Daily Tribune News' visit to the center were positive about the role the center plays at the school.

"Actually, the media center is my favorite place to be. I love to read," said fifth-grader Breana Waynick.

Fifth-grade student Hallie Howard said she likes how Pilgrim teaches lessons that help with what she's learning in class.

"She goes over vocabulary and stuff with us and it's really great," Howard said.

Students like fifth-grader Lindsay Worthington work behind the scenes of the WKES morning announcement show, which informs students of the day's lunch menu, upcoming school activities, humor and trailers for books.

Fifth-grader Gyllian Thomas also works on the set and said using props like a director's clapper board, funny hats and glasses help the group reach younger students.

"We like to add the humor in because then all the little kindergartners and first-graders like it," Thomas said. "It gets the point [across], but it's fun and everything."

Throughout the library is the theme Driven To Read in which students are encouraged to read up to one million words during the school year, with the books being marked with their word count.

"The Driven To Read books are really easy to find because they have a yellow label," fourth-grader Joseph Forsyth said, adding he has read one million words.

Teachers echoed Howard's statements about the role of Pilgrim and the media center being the hub of the school.

"Whether it's a unit or thematic unit, I can call [Pilgrim] and say, 'we're doing a unit on bugs,' and then when we'll come to the library she'll either have something through the Promethian board or story or activity to support our Georgia Performance Standards and those type of things," said kindergarten teacher Dana Moore.

Fourth-grade teacher Ginger Land said while the center provides technology resources, Pilgrim also continues an emphasis on reading.

"She has expanded [Accelerated Reader] into all different Lexile forms, different levels of books she can use, she incorporates it to where the students become aware of where they're at and how they can grow," Land said, adding Pilgrim has helped students become comfortable with finding items at the library. "... They are very knowledgeable of where they can find material, not just here, but where they can find it at the community library and that expands from the classroom to community."

Pilgrim said while she appreciates the media center receiving state recognition, she wants parents and the community to see the value and role of media centers in schools.

"The award was nice, but my goal with today too was to show people in our community and our board of education what goes on in a media center nowadays," Pilgrim said. "We used to have libraries, now we have media centers and everything we do supports the curriculum in some sort of way and so many people are unaware of what goes on in here and that's why I asked the students to show [visitors] what they're learning.

"A lot of people think we sit at a desk and check books in and out all day and that's just a small part of what goes on in here."