In November, Kathy Lamkin and I presented a talk at the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL), held in Long Branch, New Jersey. The theme of this year’s NJASL conference was Inspiration, Motivation and Participation. We thought, what better venue is there to extol the virtues of Tuscan School, and its traditions, such as the Reading Train, the Peace Patch and its other programs that foster collaboration and community spirit in a school of over 600 students?
Our main purpose for presenting at NJASL was to describe the ROAR Book in a Bag Project, our year-long, bimonthly program, which is now in its second year. We wanted to share with other schools, via their school librarians, the richness of a program that offers the opportunity for parents, teachers, and students to work together in using books to reflect on aspects of human behavior, as it is presented in all sorts of stories; funny, serious, fiction and nonfiction. We had our array of ROAR books on hand, and on display, as well as their reflection cards and teacher lesson plans.
We are very proud of our ROAR Book in a Bag program as a way of enabling us (teachers, parents, and students) to use literature to discuss character traits or consequences resulting from the actions of a character. As technological advancements speed things up, we need, more than ever, to know who we are and why we act the way we do. We need this knowledge to inform our decisions. When technology allows for quicker communication, we need to make sure that the messages that are being transmitted more efficiently, carry the reflection and the careful deliberation that lead to constructive, thoughtful results. We think that securing a time to ROAR offers the possibility of making that happen.
~ Roberta Baltin
Tuscan Library Media Specialist