This fall has been busy in the Clark Library! Already we have had two author visits. Both authors were visiting for the inaugural Seattle Children's Book Festival and we were fortunate to have them come to Clark while they were here. Varian Johnson, author of The Parker Inheritance, visited to talk with our fourth and fifth grade students and author/illustrator Troy Cummings (Notebook of Doom Series) visited with kindergarten through third grade. The kids loved their presentations and have been enjoying their, books, too! Here are some photos from the events:
That's right! The pumpkins are back! Over 100 Clark families teamed up again to transform pumpkins into their favorite book characters. Their creations have decorated our library for the last couple of weeks and been enjoyed by all. Check them out in the slideshow below!
March is literacy month at Clark! We kicked off the month on Dr. Seuss's birthday (March 2nd) with a visit from the Cat in the Hat and finished the day with an all school game. It was a word scramble using the phrase "Read Across America." The winning classes at each grade level earned a little prize. It was amazing how many words some of the classes came up with. Mrs. Hoell's kindergarten class made 30 different words!
The fun doesn't end there, as we have fun activities and author visits planned for the remainder of the month. Asia Citro, the author of the Zoey and Sassafrass chapter books series and other books (and former Clark parent) will be one of our visiting authors and Jim Whiting, author of many non-fiction titles for students, will be the other. We can't wait for all they have to share! Also this month is a fun spirit week and a whole school book BINGO game. Finally, we'll wrap up the month with a book swap. It should be a blast! Check out the photos below to learn more.
Students at Clark recently read the book Ada's Violin, The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood in library class. Did you know that musical instruments can be made out of items found in a landfill? The inspirational true story tells about how some flexible thinking combined with hard work put the orchestra on the world stage and changed the lives of some children living at a landfill forever. Follow the link below to see footage of the Orchestra perform and learn more about them. Later this year, we'll be creating our own instruments in the library as part of a makerspace activity. Stay tuned!
YouTube Video Link
At Clark, we have an annual "Pumpkin Book Project" event. Students decorate pumpkins to look like storybook characters and we display them in the library or a couple of weeks prior to Halloween. This year we had many very creative pumpkins. To see all of them, visit the "Reading" tab of this website. Here's a sneak peek of a few kids with their creations! To view even more, scroll down in the blog to last October to see last year's projects. Enjoy!
Now that the dust has settled (literally!), I finally have time to share about our recent move. Clark Elementary relocated to a new building over the summer and that meant packing and moving the library! Have you ever wondered how libraries are moved? If you have visions of packing all of those books (16,000!) into boxes, or maybe nightmares like I did, you'll be pleased to know that wasn't the case! Thankfully, large double-sided moving carts were brought in for the job. They each held a surprisingly large amount of books and weighed a ton when full. We filled about 22 of them and it took a few people about a total of 8-10 hours to load them and shrink wrap them. Everything else in the library (supplies, technology, etc.) was boxed up for the move. The contents of the library, minus the old furniture and shelving to be surplussed, was moved into storage for the summer until the new building was ready. It was really sad to see the library packed up. I found myself thinking about the thousands of children that had spent time in that space since the 1950's and pondered the sheer number of books that came in and out of those doors- a million or more, perhaps. Fortunately, my excitement for the new building and library helped. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a bit choked up when I saw the bulldozers knocking down old Clark and all of those memories.
We first had access to the new building in late August, but since the library shelves weren't bolted to the walls yet, it wasn't until Labor Day weekend that the books started getting unloaded onto the new shelving. I could hardly move in the library at first with all of the carts full of books, new shelves and cases, and boxes... everywhere! It took 40 hours to get the shelves adjusted and the books on them, but it was worth it! The new library is beautiful. We are still working on some decor and deciding whether the layout is just right, but that takes time. Enjoy the photos below and be sure to check out the new space in person!
Not long ago, we were fortunate to have Brandon Mull stop by Clark Elementary School for an assembly as part of his book tour for Dragonwatch! third through fifth grade students enjoyed his presentation and learned about how to use their imaginations to be creative and generate ideas for writing. He talked about his childhood and his experiences as a writer and played an imagination game with students. He was a treat to have visit and we enjoyed the assembly immensely. Thank you to Shadow Mountain Books, University Book Store, and Asia Citro for helping us set up this wonderful opportunity. If you haven't checked out any of Brandon's books yet, give them a try, they are GREAT! You can view a trailer for Brandon's newest series, Dragonwatch, a sequel series to Fablehaven here.
Around 170 fourth and fifth graders formed teams and worked together to read 12 titles and compete in a tournament style battle of the books competition called March Madness Reading Quest. This year we had some fun titles such as Dogman by Dav Pilkey and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Double Down by Jeff Kinney. A few books from the Sasquatch and Young Reader's Choice Award nominee lists such as Space Case by Stuart Gibbs, The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Claire, and Dash, by Kirby Larson added variety to the list which also featured some older, but great titles such as The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Finally, since we had Brandon Mull scheduled to visit Clark, we included the first Fablehaven novel and The Candy Shop War in the challenge. Students had a great time competing and enjoyed the books they read. Each students received a participation prize. Class winners and grade level winners won additional prizes. This year, our overall winners were a fifth grade team called the Disco Sharks (left) and our fourth grade winning team was the Rapid Readers II (right), who were also last year's champs! Congratulations to all students for a job well done!
Recently, we had the pleaure of hosting Carron Brown, author of Usborne books "Shine a Light" Series for an author visit! Kindergarten, first and second grade students learned about Carron's home in London, how she finds inspiration for her books, and about her process as a writer. They were especially excited to learn how to make their own shine a light books. The books are unique because the pictures have other pictures hiding behind them. When you shine a light from the back of the page, you can see the hidden pictures revealed, such as the animals hiding in a tree. We loved Carron and thank her and Jen Guzewich from Usborne books for coming out for a great visit!
As you may know, Clark Elementary School is moving! Our new building is under construction and will be done this coming summer. That means that there are lots of closets and cupboards getting cleaned out in the library. In the process, I've found a few treasures! Above are images of a couple of the old books I found. The first one is part of a five book series entitled, The Everyday Library. Originally published in 1880 by Charles Scribner's Sons (our editions seem to be published in the early 1900's), the books include scripts from plays, artwork, poetry, and articles about different aspects of life or history. On the first page of one volume, I learned about "the marvelous way a telegram goes around the world in five minutes." Sadly, many of the articles and images reflect the prejudices of times past and would not be considered culturally sensitive or appropriate nowadays, but they do give a good glimpse into the past and how information was presented. I also found an early picture book from 1940 called April's Kittens, by Clare Turlay Newberry. Other treasures found were early editions of Bambi, The World of Pooh, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Mary Poppins in the Park, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I'd love to show you these treasures. Just ask next time you are in the Clark Library!