Students Rebuild Youth Uplift Challenge

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, students in the library this week will be contemplating, discussing, and engaging with really big ideas!  With the older kids, I will read “A Dream Deferred” by Langston Hughes and the students will journal about how they would feel if their dreams were out of reach.


Every class will discuss Project Uplift and watch a video on children in poverty and either read the story of William Kamkwamba, an African boy who was determined to change his circumstances or watch a Ted talk about his achievements and dreams. I was impressed with how many students were already familiar with his story!


Please click on the links above to learn more and discuss with your students about this amazing organization and individual, or how you and your family can help lift others up as well, even if it is something as simple as random acts of kindness.

How OQS students are going to make a difference in the dreams of others is by participating in the Youth Uplift Challenge, during which each OQS student makes a paper cutout of their hand.  Students Rebuild will donate $1.90 for each hand received to the “Save the Children’s youth empowerment programs in Nicaragua and Indonesia which in turn:

• Help youth develop skills and knowledge to support their future hopes and build self-confidence.

• Teach youth basic financial literacy skills to help them manage their incomes and plan for the future.

• Put training into action with the support of their peers and youth group activities, building trust and engagement in their communities.

• Empower youth to influence the decisions that affect their lives, advocate for their rights, secure their livelihoods, increase household income, and positively impact their futures.*

Why make hands? Hands carry powerful symbolism that aligns closely with the heart of this Challenge—to support youth with new pathways out of poverty. Hands are how we lift each other up, how we connect, how we work, how we give, and how we receive. Hands also represent our unique identity and the unique contribution that all young people can make to uplift one another.” *

There are many inspiring books on display this week, both fiction and non-fiction, to help showcase the many stories of determined individuals who persevered in the pursuit of their dreams.  Feel free to come into the library to explore them and take them out yourself!

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Looking forward to posting photos of all the hands the students are thoughtfully creating to raise up other children in our world!


On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

Last week, preK, kindergarten and 1st grade read all different types of Transportation picture books in our continued tour around the library.  As we go along, I have been highlighting the many different umbrellas under which the picture books have been sorted, and Transportation is a huge hit with the younger readers!

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1st grade worked really well together and were interested in finding out what kinds of furniture made the best and fastest ramps!

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Kindergarten loves all things that go and were thrilled with an excuse to get their bodies moving!

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We have both fiction and non-fiction in the Transportation section, which is identified by its red dot on the book’s spine.  As a group, we read I Stink!, a Red Clover-award winning book that the students love, a non-fiction book and a brand-new picture book.  I better keep investing in more Transportation books because I think this is one of the favorite parts of the library, for sure!

Creepy Carrots!

As the students get to know me, they will realize that I am a total wimp when it comes to scary things, which include what I consider “scary” books.  They laugh at me when I tell them I thought a story was creepy, like the new DCF book The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, which some of the 5th graders love (and in my defense, some think is creepy!).  So with Halloween fast approaching, I wanted something fun to read with the students, but nothing too creepy.  That’s when I knew that Caldecott Award Honor book Creepy Carrots was the right choice for me–just the right amount of creepy and lots opportunity for fun!img_6431

Some classes had fallen behind in our read-aloud because of holidays or reward days, so I used the week before Halloween to get some classes caught up, and to create some fun art with others.  Every class loved the story, with its amazing illustrations and funny ending, and I got some amazing creepy carrots to display!

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The final product is just right for me! A whole lot of fun with just a smidge of creepy!  Be sure to look for your students’ creepy carrot when you come in for parent-teacher conferences this week!

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