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ERIC Number: EJ786393
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May-1
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0362-8930
Like a Rock: Far Rockaway High School
Whelan, Debra Lau
School Library Journal, v53 n5 p40-43 May 2007
Students from Far Rockaway High School are just back from spring break, and media specialist Geri Ellner is busy getting ready for her first class. She's already pulled out a copy of Anthony Browne's award-winning picture book "The Shape Game" (Farrar, 2003), and now she's patiently cuing up a Disney video of "Pocahontas" on the VHS. No, this isn't a lesson for her teenage students. It's for their babies, who are about to arrive for a read-aloud and brief video screening. Thanks to New York City's Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE) program, teenage mothers in some 40 schools can earn their high school diplomas and GEDs while their infants--some as young as two months old--are cared for in the same building. And Ellner has taken full advantage of the program, devoting precious time to reading to her students' newborns every week for the past two years. Hooking up with the school's LYFE center is just one of the many ways Ellner has reached out to her kids and teachers. Since arriving in October 2005, she's weeded more than 5,000 books, automated the entire library, launched a monthly newsletter, and created a media center Web site. And for the first time, the library has WiFi, 17 computers, audiobooks, a comprehensive graphic novel collection, and magazines--such as "Vibe, Black Beat, American Baby, and Sports Illustrated"--that students actually find interesting. In just two short years, Ellner's completely revamped the media center, turning it from a room that was largely closed to students (teachers were allowed to use its resources) to a highly trafficked location that kids turn to for technology, good books, or a friendly shoulder to lean on. And teachers who don't book their classes at least one week in advance know that it'll be close to impossible to get some library time. The library's circulation numbers speak for themselves: they skyrocketed to 1,400 items checked out this school year from a mere 97 items in the first three months Ellnercame on board.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York