Many parents struggle when it comes to helping their children with homework and projects. This is often caused by not knowing what resources are needed and what is available. Knowing how to use these resources can also be a challenge. Parent involvement can greatly impact a student's success, so where can they go to find resources to help meet their child's needs? From books, computers, and video resources to up-to-date technologies, the school library media center has the resources parents need to help ensure their child's success. The purpose of this advocacy plan is to make parents aware of the valuable resources and services that are available through the school library media center program.
Parents play an important role in their child's education. By informing them of the resources and services available in the school library media center, we help ensure that they are active participants in their child's education.
Target Group: Image Placeholder Image from Microsoft Clip Art
The school library media center is an instructional resource center that functions as an essential part of the learning process.
All resources and programs must align to meet challenges and opportunities that are encountered in school, post high-school experiences, the workplace, and the community.
The purpose of the school library media center is to provide services to students, faculty, staff, and administration based on the instructional needs and objectives enumerated in their school improvement plan.
The mission of the school library media center reflects the philosophy of the school. We believe that the school library media center helps to prepare students with the skill, knowledge, and character necessary to become lifelong learners and productive citizens.
There are many different strategies that can be used to get parents educated and involved. Here are just a few:
Build Relationships: According to Advocacy through Relationships article written by Jody K. Howard the media center needs to be positive, open, dedicated, and flexible to the members of the learning community. The library media specialist needs to be patient and continue to interact with the parents and members of the community.
Friends of the Library: This is a support group of volunteers who provide fund-raising and other assistance.
Work with other teachers to tie the curriculum: Example from New on the Job by Ruth Toor and Hilda Weisburg. The media specialist can work with the art, music, and physical education teachers for a Thanksgiving project. In art they would learn about the decor of buildings. In music they could study songs from that time frame. In PE they could play games from that time frame. In the library they could research history of the feast and find colonial recipes. The media specialist or media clerk or volunteer could read some stories about the time frame.
Show Student Achievement: According to Can You Find the Evidence-Based Practice in your School Library in the August 2010 edition of School Library Journal the librarian should g et information from the students on how the media center has helped their academic achievement. Then use that information in a newsletter, bulletin board at school entrance way or at an event held at the library.
Write a letter to the editor: Highlight the importance of the library to the school and time in to student achievement.
Petition: According to Everyday Advocacy by Carolyn Foote, an online petition on a social networking site could save a library. There’s even a website called SaveLibraries.org. She also says to be sure the right message is sent to the right audience, involve the students, and record students or parents and put it on YouTube.
Public Relations: According to New on the Job by Ruth Toor and Hilda Weisburg say the media specialist should tell people what they are doing well. They can invite them to an event held by the library and announce a new database and even show them how it works. Distribute book marks and pencils or pens at these events. Also try to do something every month to promote your library. You can create a brochure to send home with them.
Teddy Bear Read-In: This idea came from The School Library Media Specialist . The article is called Advocacy: The Teacher Librarian as an advocate. Everyone brings a stuffed animal that goes along with their favorite book. Community volunteers (parents) read.
Book Fairs, Book Clubs, social gatherings, contests, and social networking are all other ways of reaching parents and letting them know what we do in the media center.
The communication that takes place at the beginning of the school year is critical. Building relationships is a key component in assuring parent involvement. The Media Specialist will do this by:
Hosting “A Night at the Library” – an orientation class for parents, that showcases the resources that are available in the media center.
"How To…” Workshops for parents –the media specialist will hold classes on how to use resources in the library. A different resource will be highlighted each week for five weeks. Classes will meet on Tuesday and Thursday of each of the five weeks. Parents may sign up for all or specific classes.
*Example of Flyer* Images from Microsoft Clip Art
Brochure *Example of Brochure* Image from Microsoft Clip Art
Parents will enjoy seeing and reading about their child's achievements, and students will enjoy sharing accomplishments that were supported by parent involvement. Below are two great ways the media specialist will use to show how hard work pays off!
Monthly Newsletter – the media specialist will send out a newsletter to parents each month that includes grade level and student accomplishments.
End of Semester Celebration – the media specialist will host a “celebration of learning” event at the end of each semester. Students and their parents will be invited. Student projects will be showcased at the event.
*Example of Newsletter* Images from Microsoft Clip Art
Providing resource tools that parents can access from home, is a great way to promote involvement in student learning.
The media specialist will collaborate with teachers to create pathfinders that contain resources for upcoming projects for each grade level. CRE Project Pathfinder
*This pathfinder is not complete. It was created to provide an example for this project.
The media specialist will start a Blog for parents to ask questions about the resources that are available and how to use them. Media Center Resource 411
*This blog is not complete. It was created to provide an example for this project.
The media specialist will include the following sections on the media center website: list of upcoming events, student and grade level achievements, resources available and troubleshooting tips for using resources.