The 2010 – 2011 school year has finally come to an end and SUMMER is here!!! What a year!

Highlights include:

-USC interns Heidi Temple and Brooke Matthews – best of luck to both of them as they search for jobs.This year was a busy one in our library and it was very nice to have another person around to assist and bounce ideas.

-Continuation of programs like Lion Cubs (pre-school storytime at NPE), Birthday Book Club, etc. LOVE my lion cubs! I think this program helps kids to become familiar with our school and library before they enter kindergarten. The parents gets to know us too, which is great!

-Author visit with Charles R. Smith, Jr.This was one of the most interesting/frustrating author visits I have done (not just for me, but for our author too!) Charles visited our school during a very stormy time in our area and was trapped in airports – while the visit did not go exactly as planned, it was still wonderful and I know our students and teachers enjoyed it and it made an impact – that’s what the purpose is!

-Storytime at Park North (apartment outreach) Still doing monthly storytimes. I really enjoy going to PN. Those students are wonderful and maybe sometimes they aren’t told that or don’t get to do things that show them they are wonderful. Will continue these storytimes over the summer and will be sharing my plans. First one is June 15. I’m excited that my storytimes will be at the same time as the Lexington County Public Library Bookmobile visits – looking forward to it!

Yoga for Kids – I have always enjoyed practicing yoga. Since college, I have practiced off and on. In November 2010, I went to a workshop that really re-introduced me to my practice and since then I have been very much “into” yoga again. I am very close to being Level I YogaFit certified and I am teaching yoga for kids after school with the Boys and Girls Club (taking a break during the summer, of course). While it is still new to me to teach it and I am learning along with the kids – I love it (and hope they do too!).

-Schedule (always!) I’m on a fixed/flexed schedule that is really mostly fixed (I see my related arts classes for 45 minutes – 3 a day and then 3 days a week, I had a 5th grade class added to that schedule). This fixed day makes it difficult to schedule/plan collaborative lessons. Working on ways to make it work though.

-Budget (always!) I had a second Book Fair this year to get money for things like Nooks, eBooks, etc. So, budget – while always a problem, is something that I feel fairly good about in terms of being able to FIND funds when we don’t HAVE funds. Book Fair helps – Birthday Book Club helps – going to write a grant over the summer as well. Will be really thinking about how to do something digital/virtual/21st century with book clubs over the summer for next school year. Would love to know what you do!

When I look back on the year, there have been more highlights than challenges and that’s a good thing! I hope your year went well and that you take time over the summer to relax, reflect and HAVE FUN! I’m going to try to take my own advice…



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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