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Makerspace in action: 3D Printer is busy!
Our students really enjoy using our 3D Printer. We have had many requests for small items that the students have discovered on open source 3D image file repositories like Tinkercad and Thingiverse. Students can search for existing items, modify them, or have them printed as is. Our teachers are also making requests for 3D printed items to use in their classrooms. We've printed NASA's 3D image files of sections of the moon's surface, for example. Children will be able to see and feel the actual surface contours of the moon. How cool is that?
Funding for the Makerspace Successful!
A huge thank you to GearUp for funding so many items for our Makerspace! Our students are enjoying the Magformers, SnapCircuit Electronics kits, Pi kits, and LittleBits electronics that have been funded through the 2014 Gear Up grant. We've had some older children experimenting with the 3Doodler pens that can draw 3 dimensional images in the air, and our 3D Printer should be pumping out our first prints shortly. We plan to make the Makerspace available to the community, as well, starting on Thursday evenings in October, between 5:30 and 7:00. Adults and kids will be very welcome!
Donor's Choose Project: Electrifying Learning is fully funded!
A huge thank you to the folks that funded our Electrifying Learning Project. Mrs. Ginger Hamby took us over the top with a generous donation just this morning, so our project is fully funded! We have had SnapCircuit Kits on loan from the Appalachian State University to bring a touch of electronics to our Makerspace here at Bethel. The kids have loved experimenting with the kits - creating new and innovative activities as well as exploring the projects in the instruction books. Our Donor's Choose project, Electrifying Learning, lets us buy the SnapCircuit kits for our libary's Makerspace so we can have them here permanently! Thank you again, Mrs. Hamby, and thanks also to the anonymous donors with Donor's Choose, and to Mrs. Helen Paton, a donor from way up north, in Canada!
Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day is April 22nd... have a wonderful day celebrating this amazing world of ours! We were very pleased to receive a lovely new book from Blue Ridge Electric to honor Earth Day. They donated B is for Blue Planet to the library's collection. Thank you, Blue Ridge Electric - and Happy Earth Day, everyone!
Book Fair Coming May 11 - 15!
The Book Fair is coming in May! We are so excited to have another book fair at Bethel, and hope that students, staff, and parents take full advantage of this second opportunity to stock up on wonderful book offerings!
This year will be a little different than previous years because our library so urgently needs to add to our book buying budget. In other years, we've held a BOGO sale and that has been a wonderful way to promote reading among our children, particularly over the summer months. With a zero dollar return to the library from BOGO Book Fairs, we've had to switch to a standard purchasing plan this time, though. I know the kids will miss the BOGO fair, but I am also certain they will enjoy the wonderful new books the proceeds from the fair will allow us to buy for our tiny library. From the fall fair, we were able to add over $300 worth of books to the library just from the scholastic dollar points we earned!
We hope to see you at the Fair - May 11th through the 15th!!!
Used Book Drive
The Library at Bethel is hoping to collect as many used books as possible for a used book sale to raise money to upgrade and rebuild our library collection. At this point, about 2/3 of our entire non-fiction collection is out of date and needs to be replaced. Many of our most popular fiction titles and series are worn and literally falling apart at the seams. They need to be replaced, too. That is a substantial investment in terms of dollars that need to be raised and spent on high quality books for our children! They deserve the best and we are determined to provide it.
We are hoping that families will go through their own bookshelves to see if there are any books they can donate to the used book drive. We're also hoping folks will spread the word to family and friends to bring their used books in to the school, to contribute to the drive. We've got work to do to improve our wonderful little library, but many hands make light work... and we know that the community that Bethel Elementary serves is very committed to the school and to our children. We're counting on your help to make our first ever used book drive a total success!
Battle of the Books Successes!
Our Middle School and Elementary Battle of the Books Teams were amazing this year! The MBoB Team earned second place in the district, and our Grade 4 EBoB Team placed third against 15 other teams from Watauga County Schools. These young people of ours worked incredibly hard to prepare for the competition, and showed exemplary behavior and sportsmanship throughout each contest. They knew their books and their hard work won them solid placements in the top three slots district wide. Ms. Greene and Ms. Sukow worked closely with the Grade 4/5 teams, and Ms. Johnson was the primary staff coach for the MBoB team, while Ms. Jay - our new Media Specialist - learned the coaching ropes! We also want to offer a huge thank you to the volunteers from our school community that made both events so special.
The new lists of books for 2015/16 are already posted for the Middle School Battle of the Books! The list contains more new titles than usual and our purchase order is going to really pinch our budget. If anyone would like to buy books from the list for our teams, the MBoB list can be found at http://www.ncslma.org/msbob as well as posted in the library at Bethel. Please give Ms Jay a call to coordinate purchases, if you are able to help out this way. As soon as the EBoB list is available, we'll post a notice here, to update all of you.
Thank you for your unfailing support for the library, our programs, and our amazing students!
Spring PreK Reading Program: Mondays 2:45 PM
We have another opportunity for young pre-K and rising K children to have fun in the library! The Children's Council has provided us with books to share with the younger folks in our community. We will be reading a book together, then families will be able to take home a bag of four wonderful books to share with their children over the following week. This is a great opportunity for youngsters that will be coming to Bethel as our new Kinders next fall. We hope you will join us for the pre-K reading program Monday afternoons, as soon as school lets out for the day!
PreK Reading Program Launched!
Our commitment to reading is absolute. We have partnered with the Children's Council of Watauga County to provide a PreK Reading Program after school in our library. Ms. J will share a storybook or two with the little ones, and children can take home a new bag with four wonderful books to enjoy for the week! In a week's time, simply return the bag and pick up a new one after our story time. Children from birth to age 5 are welcome to join in - and don't worry about the little ones having to sit still for the stories! Wiggling comes with the territory for the wee ones... Please join us for a lovely after school reading time. The fall program will run for about eight weeks, ending into November, but we'll be starting up again in February for another eight week run. If we don't see you this fall, we hope you will join us in the New Year.
A Makerspace is Born
A Makerspace is simply a place dedicated to making, and making can take all kinds of forms. Handcrafts, paper crafts, and textile crafts are all well known forms of 'making'. What makes making so special? Anytime we engage our minds in designing a project, selecting the resources to complete the project, and following through with the actual construction, we are engaging our minds in the kind of solution oriented problem solving that is typical of an engineering mindset. Many Makerspaces include digital image and movie making capabilities, as well as audio equipment.
Makerspaces also commonly include robotics in the form of Raspberry Pi and Arduino sets, and that is on the agenda for purchasing in the not too distant future. Donations towards the purchase of robotics components are always very welcome, of course. Our Makerspace is also developing a Lego shelf, and donations of unused Legos would be wonderful, too. Give our librarian a call or stop by the Media Center with any supplies you'd like to share!
Book Fair: 2014
Our Book Fair is scheduled for November 26 through December 4th, 2014. We are excited about this year's wonderful selection of books and sundry items, and look forward to having students and staff explore the Book Fair's offerings. Parents are welcome to stop by after school to join their children in making selections.
Check out the Book Talks by our students under the Videos and Podcasts section directly below Announcements! You may be interested enough to come by the library and check out a new book!!
Videos and Podcasts
Department Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org