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Library-Media Center

From the Desk of new Birchwood Media Center Librarian Kate Kirkpatrick!  

What a great welcome I have had at Birchwood! My name is Kate Kirkpatrick, and I am excited to be the new Library Media Specialist! I have enjoyed meeting all of your children, and look forward to seeing you at Back to School night! 

We’ve been talking about how to take care of our library materials: please help your child find a safe place at home for library materials and remind them to keep books away from food, water, and other things that can damage them. I’m looking forward to all the poster entries, as we continue with our annual poster contest! 

Please contact me if you have any questions about the library program at Birchwood at kkirkpatrick@niskyschools.org. A big thank you to all the library volunteers, who keep the shelves stocked for our amazing readers! Wishing you lots of great reading!

* Mrs. Kirkpatrick is at the Birchwood Media Center Tues-Fri each week


  • The  Birchwood Media Center Homepage has links to tons of interesting info, including the Reading Programs, Visiting Authors, Book Fairs, Reading Lists, a Parenting Booklist and MORE.
  • You can access the Birchwood MC Catalog (OPALS) to search the MC's collection
  • It's also easy to create a student account in OPALS. In the "Account Info" tab, you can see what your child has checked out, due dates, and what's overdue. You can even view a history of EVERYTHING he or she has ever checked out!
  • Just click "Register Account" link in the top right corner of the OPALS page to set up your student's account.  You will need his/her student ID # (same one that's used for lunch accounts, etc.)

Birchwood's Book of the Month Club!

Birchwood's Book Club meets on selected dates from 2:15-3:15 in the Media Center. Amazing club mentor Pam Ober leads the informal, educational and SUPER FUN book club! The Book Club is for students of all ages.
Preregistration and a signed permission slip are required for participation.  Download and print the full information flyer and permission slip HERE!
When the Book Club meets to talk about a particular book, it is ideal to have read the book before the meeting. However, Mrs. Ober says it is OK if you are still reading it, or are just interested in reading it in the future. But be warned – the club will talk ab
out the whole book! 
Students who need to borrow a copy of any Book Club book should see Mrs. Kirkpatrick.


Birchwood Media Center's Annual  Family Poster ContestCelebrating Children's Literature
**
Past Winners can be viewed here.**
2013 UPDATE (21st Annual Contest): 79 posters were submitted this year, the combined creative effort of over 94 students and family members.  The winning participants enjoyed an ice-cream party and had their posters displayed in the Media Center and Birchwood's halls. Thanks to all the students and family members who submitted posters.
The Birchwood Media Center sponsors an annual Family & Friends Poster Contest.  All posters have a reading theme, or c
an focus on a particular book or series. Students may create individual posters, or team up with one or more family members or friends and share the fun!  All posters are laminated and displayed in the school halls for a few weeks before being returned to their owners.  
A panel of judges selects the top posters for each grade, and these students (including all students in winning poster teams) attend an honorary ice-cream party. 
Contest rules and entry forms are sent out annually in October (and are available on the homepage during that time), with posters  due in early November.  

Media center photoMedia Center Volunteering Program
The Media Center (library) offers students fantastic programs and resources.  It welcomes volunteers (parents, grandparents, folks from the neighborhood) for one- or two-hour shifts weekly or bi-weekly.  No experience necessary! Tasks may include helping students select and check out books, stamping date-due cards, shelving books, mending, and other special projects. We also use an army of volunteers to put on our twice-yearly book fairs. 
The 1000 Book Kids Program is also run by volunteers. Duties include maintaining the book bags, recording the benchmarks, and distributing awards to teachers/students. These are rewarding positions, and not very time-consuming. 
Interested in volunteering?  Sign up  here  to join the Media Center Committee, or email one of the parent contacts below for more information.
PTO Parent Contacts:  Fran Hill & Sonya Ward.

1,000 Book Kid Program
Birchwood's 1000 Book Kid Program
 is a free and easy-to-use early reading program. Since 1999, this popular outreach program has successfully engaged preschoolers before they become Kindergarteners at Birchwood. 
Each March, parents of children who live in the Birchwood attendance zone and are within a year and a half of entering kindergarten are invited to bring their child to a program "Kickoff Party" at the school. The program is explained to the parents, the children enjoy a group activity, and families are encouraged to register for the program. 
The 1000 Book Program is open to all district preschoolers, but is geared towards 4-year-olds (however, kids may continue reading to earn level awards until the start of 2nd grade). 
The program allows families to borrow a bag with 10 fun, age-appropriate books to read to their preschoolers. Once finished, families return the bag to school and may borrow another bag of books. Bags may be picked up and dropped off before, during of after school. After kids reach 25, 50, 75, and 100 bags, they will receive an award. 
Children meeting the eligibility requirements are welcome to join at any time. For more information, or to enroll your preschool-age child in the program, email the PTO Parent Contact or call the Media Center at (518) 344-2918, Ext. 10709.
PTO Parent Contact: Fran Hill

Visiting Author
Program
Birchwood's Media Center brings favorite children's book authors to Birchwood to talk about their writing and sign copies of their books. Past authors include Nick Bruel (author and artist, the Bad Kitty series) and David A. Adler (author of the Cam Jansen series), to name a few!
Local author James Preller (Jigsaw Jones series; photo right) visited the 3rd and 4th graders on Nov. 14, 2012 to talk about writing mysteries. He returned on Tuesday, March 30th, 2013 to visit with the other grades and hold writers' workshops.

Author Coleen Paratore visited Birchwood on May 14 for our annual Author Visit". Coleen Paratore, author of Sunny Holiday and many other great books, visited on Weds., May 14, 2014.  Mrs. Paratore did some writing exercises with the students, helping them think with both their heads and their hearts. She also talked about her life as a writer and how coming up with ideas is like “catching fireflies in a jar." She also had a Q & A lunch with some of our budding authors. The children very much enjoyed the interaction and visit!
PTO Parent Contact: Kyra Teis Zonderman, Children's book author/illustrator (www.kyrateis.com)
Media Center
 Book Fairs
Students visit our annual Fall/Winter and Spring books fairs with their classroom teachers to select items for their "wish list," and return to pay for/pick up parent-approved 
items the next day.  Students and parents can also shop together during evening shopping hours on the last day of each fair! 
This year we're continuing the Teacher's Classroom Wish List that was such a success at our last book fair.  For the Wish List, teachers provide the book fair their choices for in-class reading, and families can purchase and donate these titles. What a great opportunity to help supply the books for our children's classrooms! 

Want to help out? The Media Center uses parent helpers to set up the twice-yearly book fairs in the gymnasium, and to help students select and purchase books.

 Volunteers are needed to help with set up June 2, take down June 9, or during buying days June 5, 6 plus during the ice cream social.

Please sign up 

here  

 as a Committee Member of Day-of-Event volunteer, or email the parent contacts listed below.  You can also return the parent volunteer form sent home by backpack mail shortly before the event.

PTO Parent Contact: Sonya Ward & Fran Hill

All students and staff are invited to participate in the annual voluntary Summer Reading Program sponsored by several Birchwood teachers, district media center staff, and PTO volunteers.  Participation packets and title record sheets are distributed schoolwide in June and are due back the second week of Sept.
P
articipants receive certificates recognizing their achievements at an all-school assembly each fall, and are treated to a party afterwards!
Fifth graders who participate for a majority of their Birchwood years (and staff members who participate for five consecutive years) are also awarded special Birchwood READing t-shirts!
Staff Contact: Mrs. Vermilyea
PTO Parent Contact: Millie Gnatek


1,000 Book Kid Program
Birchwood's 1000 Book Kid Program
is a free and easy-to-use early reading program. Since 1999, this popular outreach program has successfully engaged preschoolers before they become Kindergarteners at Birchwood.
Each March, parents of children who live in the Birchwood attendance zone and are within a year and a half of entering kindergarten are invited to bring their child to a program "Kickoff Party" at the school. The program is explained to the parents, the children enjoy a group activity, and families are encouraged to register for the program.
Any child who meets the eligibility requirements is welcome to join at any time. For more information or to enroll your preschool-age child in the program, email the PTO Parent Contact or call the Media Center at (518) 344-2918, Ext. 10709.

PTO Parent Contact: Millie Gnatek

Year-End Media Returns/Summer Materials Sign-out
Each year, all books and media must be returned to the Media Center in June (due date announced each May). Summer materials sign-outs will not be allowed until all overdue materials are returned. If a student needs materials for an assignment or class work, the due date can be extended--just ask!
Summer Materials sign-outs occur during the last week of school. Permission slips for summer sign-outs are sent home and must be signed by both parent and student. Numbers of certain items are limited--see slip for details.
Thank you for responsible use of our Media Center materials!

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