Closing out the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Legacy

of course not forgotten!

Two more –

#14 – The single most important thing about volunteering – it s free experience and an investment. If you go into any volunteering experience with the attitude or perspective that you are sacrificing you could be doing in place of the chance to volunteer – oooof- wrong motive and you will not get out of it what you could be – remember, the chance to volunteer is a chance to invest in your community, and also gain experience for free from individuals that have some knowledge in something you do not – priceless.

I know, you want a very solid example of another volunteer opportunity, right? Okay so we can all take a lesson from Ron Russell, volunteer for the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy – he continually monitors Woodland Road and from a road that is constantly dumped on, he keeps it spotless. If you choose one easy stretch of road anywhere near you, and do a before and after shot, – and reclaim that area from litter to spotless – it helps to show the before and after to the public to pass on what they also can do on their small stretch of road as well. Usually the ability to share these pieces of highway, road, street we all take a part in creates a community awareness of together that extends beyond our own next door.

#15- One of the best things you can do is thinking outside the box when it comes to volunteering. Also, volunteering is contagious. We are in a great position to be near the eastern shore, and taking an excursion to the beach and reclaiming the beach, as well as a local wetland is extremely satisfying to look back on to see what the before and after was and is. In addition, we have an amazing group, MERR Institute that constantly preserves and saves wildlife in our state and in Maryland – a GREAT organization to also assist with. The key is often taking a view of something needed in your community, and finding a new niche to tackle that issue and come up with a solution. That is something we can do every day, and something that can easily be passed on to every calendar day of the year.

#16 – okay you get a bonus one – styrofoam. Until you have done several cleanups in and around wetlands, bays, harbors, and dug down into the ground and see pieces of styrofoam in grains of soil everywhere, it is difficult to realize how permanent and blocking to growth styrofoam can be- yet, places like the Jones Landfill outside side Seaford allow you to collect styrofoam once cleaned, and recycle it! From trays, to Chik Fil A cups, to containers that carry the recycling emblem, yes, you can, and should. One person multiplied by 300 more? Definitely priceless.

Keep Volunteer Delaware in your pocket as a go to for keeping our communities moving forward in the legacy that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left behind! Many wonder how this had to do with civil rights? it is true the path to all is the path that brings us together- which is what these and many others paths to improving the service we do, improving out community, improves the service we can give to each other as well.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Part II

Take TWO! We started a post a few days ago listing three possibilities of service you could pay forward to improve the community. So here we continue the possibilities…

It was refreshing to hear Yolanda King, granddaughter of Dr. King, reflect on what this legacy means.

Onto our list:

#4 – One of the best things people can do, that many do not do, that does matter, is when you are in a parking lot- bringing in one, two, or three carts into the establishment – be it Lowe’s Food Lion, Family Dollar, etc – it is satisfying to know you are getting some exercise, as well as brining in your cart when you finishing and bringing your cart back, and you multiply how many people come to this establishment and if each takes one cart, the day of many will be lightened- seems ridiculous BUT – it makes a community feeling difference!

#5 -A very cool way of realizing different cultural practices and beliefs is FOOD. With so much swirl around the topic of immigration, one of the best ways is to delve into foods of various areas, prepare it, and then comment on social media about it and describe it, as well as what you have learned. This site is a great place to discover foods and if you are in the D.C. area, you can DEFINITELY try the menu – but for us on the eastern shore, this provides menu items we can look up, discover, try, and discuss and tie to various cultures!

#6 – Piggy backing off of the above link – a branch of that link found HERE (Scroll down)- allows you to help tutor and provide English help to immigrants, and what a cool welcome to pass on to others!

#7- Piggy-backing off the above two links – one of the best ways to support local businesses, not just restaurants, but services, from plumbing, to construction, to sewing to more, YELP. Create an account and highlight services, restaurants, businesses in your area and help them navigate tough business waters amid COVID.

#8- DIY’S- There is SUCH a distressing time for thrift stores currently. I rely on thrift stores for jeans and always have been able to find a great pair of Docker’s Levis or more there for half the price if not a third of the price of retailer’s and often in great condition – frequenting thrift stores is one way. Yet another – turn your attention to the items that are often dropped off that thrift stores cannot resell. Posting DIY’s on how everyone can repurpose these items – effectively, will allow others to repurpose or regift items that they would try to just dump off as a thrift store that they cannot resell. This is a HUGE advantage to thrift stores and lessens the space that they would NOT be able to use a space. Start your own instagram to do so, and if you do not know how, as your local school librarian or public librarian, they will show you how and you can impact your community!

#9- Again, piggy backing of the idea above, if you have NOT used Freecycle, WOW. You can grab items that can change your house and help others and it repurposes for free items that would otherwise end in the dump – YET- here is a even better purpose – Find a list of families in need of items, and search, post, and request items that can be delivered to a organization, home, family that needs these items! I cannot tell you how many items I have obtained, and resurfaced, resanded, repainted, and delivered to families that could use it. It is am amazing feeling to give new life to items to families in need, and can become a challenge to take off as many items from the Freecycle list as possible to get to others. An amazing service and great way to help others – there are areas in Sussex County, Dover and Wilmington for Delaware.

#10- Detergent bottles. Yeah, most of them DO NOT get recycled. Move away from these from filling up the earth and move to friendly eco strips or other (there are so many alternatives now!) but take the existing collection and put your children, the neighbor’s children, grandchildren, or create a lesson for your closest elementary school and create projects that can be reuse these plastic monsters to good use forever! From beach and overall organizing baskets, to glue gun stands/holsters, to bird feeders, watering cans to garden lights, it is possible and those detergent bottles recycled into something useful, other than taking up landfill space, will be even better to look at for years to come. yet this allows a workshop for groups at the local library, school, or neighbors!

#11- Audubon Bird count. Every February the Audubon Bird Count is on, and this helps show you how to get together with your community virtually. The 25th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 18, through Monday, February 21, 2022. We are developing a birding group, novice to expert, from the Vince Morris Nature Trail at Chapel Branch and would love to have your participation, and you will learn alot! Email me at harry.brake@gmail.com as we develop this network of community bird promoters!

#12-Events like Do More 4 Delaware and Giving Tuesday are the lifeblood of many non profits. Do More 4 Delaware occurs in March 3rd to March 4th for 24 hours – the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy relies on the support of our community- as many other nonprofits, and $3.00 per person x 200 people is HUGE!- Giving Tuesday occurs is always the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and a great way to pass on non-profits that you feel strongly about!

#13- Find your local school library and librarian, and ask to review a book that is in their collection. This is SO HUGE! I am ALWAYS needing reviews of books that are in our collection, and this allows librarians to display books with community member’s reviews, AND you can dip into the unknown and utilize books that stretch across many cultures, and provide your reactions to this book and this allows countless displays of books for patrons to see a community member’s review and reaction to- this creates a better connection between the community – YOU! – and the community of students in the school library – which is needed! (Did you see # 2 of this initial post?!!) If you want to jump right ion yes, I need your community reviews all the time and can recommend books that align with what we are focusing on as themes for this month! Email me please! 🙂 A GREAT way to tie connections that many might not know about in their school library!

We have TWO MORE! We will post these later tonight to make our top 15 as we let you soak in the details of how you can be more a part of your community and spread the legacy of meeting, benefitting, and interacting with your community, in the legacy left from Dr. Martin Luther King on this Day of service!

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Gathering Quality and Refuge

Monday through Friday – looking around the WHS Library Media Center, I was impressed. Academic Challenge students were on computers at various stations behind the circulation desk, in the back collection office, Independent Study students were sprawled out preparing for presentations and projects, Medtech students also from Delaware Tech were interspersed working on their assignments being remote from the campus, Monday at least 5 requests for new books for our collection (by students and faculty), phone ringing every period for students requested in different classes, offices, teachers for specific needs, chromebooks being serviced and loaned out every other period, organizing and packing Christmas donated decorations from the lobby, to the library, running reports to monitor the age of a specific part of the library collection against the items being checked out, creating promotions for the month of January to bring out items that patrons would not be otherwise aware of, attending webinars for SORA, the Delaware Library Association, YALSA, Governor’s Outstanding Service Volunteer Awards, calling Read Aloud in Georgetown, DE as well as other libraries to distribute texts to libraries in need, calling the administrative offices to clarify requirements on a specific scholarship, and on top of all that, realizing that the students need that prepared hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, snack, or extra sofa cushion in the library to bring the stress of what COVID has brought to our doorstep in schools and redirect to another location so students can find a haven in the library – that is what often many do not see.

It is vital, VITAL that the presence of certified librarians, as well as the presence of literacy media skills are always available to students, 24/7 – in a world that throws so much information at students in such a rapid-fire time period, the role of a certified librarian is the cog that connects the world and some sanity and ease to the very students trying to find it.

I was amazed at how packed, crowded, and Grand Central Station-like our library was this week, and never, despite a high level of stress and need being requested, was grateful for it.

It is a constant sign of the needs of students today. Many never will realize, see, or experience the urgency of needs students feel from period to period and yet, this fact does not make these needs any less.

(Is that the longest sentence you ever read? Hopefully you are getting the idea of what certified librarians need to do on a weekly, daily, and hourly basis to meet the mental, academic, and social needs of successful students today.

Fast Forward to Saturday, January 15th, 2022. Perhaps one of the greatest outdoor classrooms, the nature trail This one specifically, The Vince Morris Trail as Chapel Branch. Unlikely dog walkers made up of waist-high youngsters, I never thought I’d se the day where Dane, Wriggley, and Amaya could be walked by such young students and yet, there they were, there we were. (There was one point where young Caleb, was HANGING ON to Wriggley, while Wriggley was pulling him while Caleb was HANGING ONTO the leash while sliding on the ground behind him, – yes, about 15 feet at least. Caleb never let go, not once. I thought I was watching an old western – Caleb as cowboy and Wriggley wild Mustang, and yet, the hijinx and laughs made the day even more amazing).

Yes it was 22 degrees and quite cold and yet, all that disappeared when we noticed the beauty, solace, and calming around us, even though the lot of us were spread put and everywhere. Community members, youth, neighbors, representatives of our town, we were all together with potential on this chilly, frozen Monday morning.

It was magnificent. You might not see the connection between the two but the details that many do not see, and that you might see upon closer look, make the difference. Just like the details of that ice of the picture here, caught in between the limbs of the downed tree, at first, I was seeing a tree toppled onto a duck box protector.

Closer look revealed this unique capture of ice frozen into the limbs of the downed tree. Many take for granted what they see or know what a library space and librarian can do for others, same thing with a potential nature area. Yet, these two spaces, the library and have the potential to hold large massed of individuals form all walks of life, and provide services that many do not even realize are possible. That is the beauty of inquiry, the beauty of taking part and putting yourself in the mix to make positive change in the middle of chaos, making a difference.

As the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service approaches, I hope many put themselves into situations where they learn something new about thew world around them, add something to better this world they have learned something new about, and learn how to add something for others in the future. That is the powerful legacy Dr. King left that keeps on repackaging and presenting itself in different forms today. We are the lucky patrons of that gift, and the gathering of our potential is limitless.

It makes the fire n each of us that much warmer at night!

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Dr. Martin Luther King Day Jr. Day of Service -January 17, 2022

Welcome to the countdown of 15 things you can do, in doors, and out, for your community!

Volunteer your time and talents

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

Volunteering amid the coronavirus pandemic may present new challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an active participant in your community! Reach out to local schools to see how you can help teachers in their virtual classrooms, raise money for food banks in your area, or even ask an elderly neighbor if they need help taking care of their yard.” (From https://www.audacy.com/news/lessons-from-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-we-can-use-in-the-present-day)

Over the next three days keep checking in as we add more and more possibilities you can do, indoors and out, to improve your community!

We will refer to the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy Project page for out first one and # 3!

COLD. Yes, it is VERY cold, a cool 20 degees Fahrenheit today sooo- we will be represented at The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch at this morning, imitating a warmer version of Friluftsliv but we want your visit to NRWC property to be comfortable and enjoyable. DO NOT worry if today is too cold to leisurely take in the trail, we understand it is probably too cold today but we will have another next week again!

In the meantime, leading up to Martin Luther King Jr’s Day of Service January 17, 2022, we’d like to pull some of the listed activities that you can contribute to your community, with, inside and outside!

  1. The advocacy to legislators about natural lands is the heart of the NRWC – and this particular land in Maryland is a GREAT way to take part in saving a piece of land for restoration and prevent development on. Go ahead and do it and let environmental lands hear your voice!
  2. Media Literacy is huge, and piggy backing on #1, we desperately need a push with increasing uses of social media, for future generations to receive the correct instruction on how to discern messaging on all sorts of media. Go ahead whole your are advocating today and support the Senate Bill 195 (SB 195) and let your legislators know you do feel the education and awareness of media literacy, by certified school librarians, is a vital part of education – that is what brings you to us and we hope brings future generations to us! (Beware of the tree octopus !)
  3. What do you know personally about Poison Ivy, Sassafras, Black Oak, and Mountain Laurel? We’d like to hear your “Did you know’s” as we are moving forward with a Chapel Branch field guide for students! Send any and all cool trivia and facts you know to us and we will credit you and put your knowledge to use informing younger generations! (All info can be sent ot harry.brake@gmail.com).

Stay tuned for 12 more ways from now until Monday evening on how you can play a part in community service from your home and by getting out for the MLK Day of Service!

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Revisiting Firsts on January 01, 2022

On the way back from a very rainy day nature walk at The Vince Morris Trail at Chapel Branch, I heard on NPR’s show Symphony Cast, the name Alondra De la Parra? Did I hear that right? YES!

This segment was one of the coolest segments, and if you have never seen orchestras Ms de la Parra has directed- WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Camila de la Parra I still brag about today, every chance I get. Thanks to her patience, we started Repentino. in Mexico City and it still exists this day, morphing into one of the greatest representations of Mexican student ingenuity and expression I have imagined. It is amazing to see something continue and symbolize so much – and be a conduit for so much talent. That is Camila in a nutshell.

Yet, when I had met Ms Alondra de La Parra and Mane de la Parra thanks to a graduation invite in the home, I was mystified. So much talent in one room and they were there, IN THE FLESH! LOL. Camila was worried at the time of being her own person. She never had to worry. She has always been her creative, talented self as well as has been her brother Mane, sister Alondra, and her father Manelick de la Parra. It is amazing to see some much unique creativity in family but they always taught me a lesson, there is NEVER a “too late” to delve into something you are unfamiliar with and make your own.

The night I attended Ms Alondra de la Parra’s concert, she had West Side Story on the screen behind the orchestra, during the film, it was MAGICAL. The portion following the show, where she played music and had everyone in the audience dancing in the aisles and front of the orchestra pit, Magical.

Despite the ugh of 2021 and the ugh that tries to present itself in 2022, we have moments to allow creativity and possibility to survive and exist. Thank you for teaching me that lesson over and over Camila, Mane, Alondra, and Manelick de la Parra 🙂 Happy New Year!

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Who’s Gifting Who?

Looking back on a Christmas 2021 – I realized how sneakily it slid past, without truly, 100% recognizing what an impact others made to others this holiday. I had walked into a Wal Mart and saw already Valentine’s items up – and it is still December. The opportunity to SLOW moments down, to reflect on them, to soak them in, and have time to truly appreciate them, lives on a totally different time scale in Mexico than in the United States.

While both American, two different realities exist when it comes to the element of time devoted to reflection and celebrations – often over way to quick to absorb. Here are a few examples of extraordinary giving that occurred, that competed and helped many overcome the setbacks that 2021 presented to many.

Front stage and CENTER Having been invited to a colleague’s Christmas party – I found myself in the Rehoboth area stopping at a Dollar Tree store in search of labels for a funny / strange Christmas gift exchange that would be occurring that afternoon. Sure enough – Murphy’s Law would strike- (ironic history of this phrase, right? Check that link!) – For the last few days my 1997 Mercury Mountaineer, which has weathered several trips back and forth to Mexico City to Delaware and back, pile ons of whole Seaford Cross Country Teams, and carrying 6 total animals (canines and felines) from Mexico to name just a few, decided not to start. Randomly the last few days, just not starting then starting, trying EVERYTHING, in lieu of having a new key made to open all doors from the outside, it just chose the most inconvenient time to do so.

Although, again, all of these had been unexpected and inconvenient in their own way. Hood up, generous individuals will ing to come over and offer help, a jump, advice, etc to no avail. Calling my colleague letting her know I wound probably NOT make the exchange but holding out for that moment my vehicle would decide to jump back on – and 1 1/2 hours later, Voila!- it started! I decided at this point, it would stay running until I reached my final destination, not ideal, but darn it, I was avoiding Murphy’s law! As you might have guessed, I missed the gift exchange but my friend was gracious enough to feed me, we chatted (yep with vehicle running) and she gifted me some pretty awesome center pieces their Mom has made – and although the frustrating things had happened, keeping the faith and following through with making that visit – no matter what, resulted in alot of those centerpieces going home with students to share with their families, that might not have had centerpieces at all made of real pine and items from the outdoors.

It was a gift that lit many people’s eyes up, presented a warm gathering following a difficult and frustrating vehicle experience, and transforming the whole concept of what a gift really is and how it evolves. I appreciate the gifts I received from so many during my time in Mexico City and carrying them forward with me to Delaware. Priceless.

Gifting the Gift of Giving – When I first received the email from our principal, Mrs. Kirkland, it read simply this:

I am a Trooper at Troop 5 in Bridgeville and I organize our annual charitable campaign, The Needy Family Fund.  The reason for my e-mail is that I had the idea to offer the opportunity to assist with the wrapping of the gifts to some students who might need volunteer credit hours.  I reached out to Mrs. Sharp and she referred me to you.  If this is something you would like to offer to your students I would love to chat more to discuss details.

Thanks for your time and attention,

Cpl/3 Juanita Huey

What occurred next was pretty darn amazing. Over a period of a month, we were able to have the Woodbridge Library Media Center serve as a center for giving, but all thanks to the faculty, students, and community. The previous post I mentioned the project that Independent Students had finessed and organized to get books into the hands of many different locations – that was happening, the amazing giving campaign of community businesses like Callaway, Farnell and Moore, as well as immediate and farther neighbors of our community donating decorations and trees that would last for years to come, that was happening. (WRDE was amazing to bringing this holiday story to light to show what community means when combined with educational projects and reaching out into the community!) Add to this mix a decision to invest financially in Gingerbread House kits and watch students put these together, some that had never thought of the idea and wow, they turned out amazing – and I had never in fact done one, so the investment out of pocket to get these grew ten fold, it was the best thing I ever purchased watching the time and care the put into each of these – (OKAY I admit it, Math Skills WERE in play too!) that happened, so I was a little nervous about another activity happening – and yet –

Students from the Woodbridge National Honor Society, classes that had signed up to assist in wrapping, as well as Woodbridge High Independent Study students, combined tackled volumes and stacks and stacks of presents. It would have taken all day – and yet, students kept coming back for more and more and more – and finished leaving nothing to be done for the remaining two periods that had signed up!

If you watched closely, during this process from period 1 to 5- the holiday music in the background,

students getting candy canes and looking like a small gift production factory during the whole wrapping process, -it was pretty out of this world amazing to see members of the State Trooper division, Woodbridge High Students and faculty involved in a process that they otherwise might never have found themselves in together. I think what is even more outstanding is having a principal that had ideas that ultimately will impact so many others, and passing the wand on to so many others to let such generous ideas to help others occur, and let others make it happen. Be it from the library, educator’s classrooms, the students’ ingenuity, putting SGA and other groups to the challenge, the belief that someone can believe in another to carry out a generous act- is a whole other type of giving. The whole gifting entourage we experienced in December, with so much happening, magical.

Wreathing and Writhing – One of the coolest opportunities was Deck the Halls day as we take a break to work through some holiday cheer at Woodbridge High the last day of break. One of our students, without hesitation, volunteered to be on hand in the Library Media Center that day to help with the making of book wreaths. This used to be our goal when we wrapped gifts at Barnes and Noble for the holidays, and while we had students waiting, we would make a craft, often being the holiday book wreath which always snagged attention of those coming in and out. Hands down, from checking burnt out holiday lights, to putting on the factory hat, Wesley was able to churn out several book wreaths to gift to faculty and administration, as well as sit down alongside another faculty member supporting them in learning how to make her own, in ADDITION to suggesting what would make a better centerpiece for the book wreath and sure enough – it was AMAZING! Knowing a student like Wesley, his attention span runs at a pace faster than mine (yeah, I know!) and his ability to focus his abilities to benefit and gift the above mentioned energies to so many others in such a short span of one afternoon? – Again, priceless.

Looking back on all of these amazing feats occurring in December, and thanks to the countless individuals that came together to make so many possibilities a reality, it is worth slowing down, NOT getting caught into the machinery of what is next months ahead of the “What’s Next?” and appreciating the gifts that have been gifted to us, right in front of us. That is worth bringing in the New Year, looking back on gifts such as these.

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Magnetized = Students + Educators + Community + Librarians

I LOVE magnetized letters. Maybe, well okay, I think I like the people who find the most hysterical phrases from the magnetized poetry – I think that it the real secret. The others.

As I was walking tonight with some contemplating hounds, I realized, how extremely reliant the profession of a certified librarian is on others – how much insight others have to truly liberate the possibilities for students, with the librarian as merely a conductor, yet almost a key maker (think The Matrix).

In the month of November, thanks to Senorita Moraima Reardon, a friend of hers, Nan Burns, discovered a dumpster in Maryland full of books for students, from kindergarten to high school – and I truly mean over 25 boxes FULL of books. The magnetized portion comes to play Ms. Reardon cam to me, the librarian NOT because she thought me superhuman and amazing – (though she gives me higher compliments than I deserve and have to tell ya, certified librarians and public librarians can be nothing short of superheroes) – but because we had done something before – found donated books and placed into the hands of those in need. We did that, and it served as a conduit, ultimately a magnet, that Ms Reardon found me and together we became stronger in making this tragedy of new books almost sent to the garbage, now into the hands of Sussex Montessori, The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy, and Read Aloud Delaware (Stacy!)

Thank you Read Aloud Delaware for being a conduit
for possibilities!https://www.readalouddelaware.org/

who in turn was able to get HUNDREDS of books into the hands of children in any different school districts!

I left some of the most important portions out – my Independent Study students

took on sorting through over 25 boxes FULL of every age, grade, type of book, jumbled together – and sorted them ALL and into categories for various locations where they would go – they did this over a 2 week period – and never a complaint. They often found books they knew from growing up and expressed nostalgia over this or that book, but sorted them all expertly. It also was INCREDIBLY amazing to see such a diversity of books represent Native Americans, Middle Eastern locations, Latin American traditions, African American history and ancestry, Jewish heritage and so many more- HOW CAN IT BE OKAY for these texts to be going into the garbage? They represent the very essence of respecting an open mind versus a mind being thrown away.

Add to this the contribution of Ms Smith who connected me with Sarah who enabled a pipeline to get some of the most amazing books to the Sussex Montessori school as well.

Add to this the WHS neighbor who donated cases of blank books and stories that enable students to create their own stories and have their own hardcovers already started.

These individuals mentioned above, allowed the train of distribution to occur, and benefit the community at large around us – they magnetized. Each and every one, working together and yet never being all physically together? How does this happen? I have learned the discipline and training of a certified librarian depends on how you take a look at the community around us, assess the needs, and fill them. This could be residential communities, non-profit communities, school communities, youth communities, public library communities, adult communities, and so much more- the ability to get resources, connect resources – be that being people, supplies, projects, or more – the ability to network this goals and align them with curriculum that is being taught in school – welcome to the aims, goals, and objectives of the role a certified librarian plays in today’s world.

It is extremely enlightening and promising to see students take on and believe in a need so strongly that they will make sure a project as getting books once discarded, that are brand new, and get into the hands of youth that will benefit from them. It started with someone wanting to reuse and save something new, and ended with someone receiving someone new and able to reuse what another seemed worthless. So many similarities to the way people see the role of a certified librarian, see school, see classes, she expectations, we can all learn so much from each other – magnetized for supporting our immediate community!

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The best kept secret, but it doesn’t have to be.

Actually, it should not be a secret at all, and yet it seems to be.

The School Library. So many misconceptions of what a library is- but as December’s Agenda shows you ( and not being done updated yet after three hours, so stay tuned, more coming!) – the misconception that a library is a placeholder for books only – many need to be reschooled on how valuable certified librarians, school libraries, and students that bring them alive make such an impact on daily school life.

This comment was posted about libraries in general I came across today regarding an initiative to fund public libraries in the state of Delaware:

It is VITAL to NOT lump one category into another, meaning public libraries, school libraries, paraprofessionals, and certified librarians work hand in hand, but all are needed-and they ALL work when working together. Take one away from another, you have a lesser chance of empowering students to their fullest potential in a very difficult time in education today.

The location where students can gather, heal socially, academically, and personally, is truly the high school library. Certified librarians are trained to latch onto social media, community events, and activities to involve students, and tie even the slightest detail to an aspect of curriculum that is being covered in school.

I cannot tell you the number of conversations I have had with students about how to approach a presentation, a homework assignment, an academic assignment, and just IDEAS that students have, WHILE we have been decorating, building, repairing, or another activity. The blending of fun, interests and academics is possible, DOES happen, and occurs in school libraries as well as public libraries. It is easy to NOT see this happening when you might not be in the middle of students on a daly basis to see it happening, but as a parent, community member, and/or advocate for education, talk to your public and school librarians and find out what and how you can see what is happening in and among your community!

We hope you do check out our updates to how Woodbridge High’s Library Media Center is empowering students to take control of their education and be involved in their community AND check back in a few days, more is being added!

Parents, guardians, supporters of active learning – we need you to continue to voice your concerns, requests, and interests in making sure, all schools have a center like the school library media center to express, create, and develop their interests, an have a professional and a center to exercise their freedoms to learn in a flexible way that leads to opportunities that are not even know yet! It happens every day with a school library and certified librarians!

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Airing Concerns and Time Needed to Address Them

It is invaluable and priceless, to haver students willing to share in-depth concerns of what surrounds them.

More than just “How are you doing?” but genuinely listening and following up on the experiences that impact our younger generations that become our future generations.

We had the distinct honor to spend some quick moments with Classic Upward Bound students to enlighten us on what was on their minds and hopefully, receive the support to address these concerns and take visible steps to address, change, and modify!

Here is the link to our December 4th check in with students

Due Knowledge

https://anchor.fm/harry-brake/episodes/December-04-Classic-Upward-Bound–Meeting-Students-At-their-Concern-Level-e1bkpjf

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Find Someone Who Ignites Your Interests, and Never Let the Fire Burn Out.

In listening to the books recommended by National Public Radio as the do, providing an amazing portal of selections to find JUST THE RIGHT BOOK that fits you – I also found a deeper story, quite inspiring. NPR’s book editor, Petra Mayer, passed away suddenly and unless you had heard or experienced her deep passion for all things that books can do for anyone, I mean ANYONE, then you might have just missed one of the most amazing examples of someone willing to share something powerful with another.

However, I am willing to give you a chance to see how powerful this is. Petra Mayer, from the choices of interviews that would go onto air, as well as this listening to Petra at the 12:14 mark of this same podcast, and if you listen, she is willing to go into great detail about what makes this such a powerful book and such an important book that would grab someone into the science fiction realm.

The fact that someone like Petra Mayer takes the time, and wants to take the time to give you a piece of something she has found, realized, or have stumbled across is a powerful treasure. There are may others that often you find are passionate about a specific interest, and also, passionate about willing to share this with you, to better a part of your life, for no other reason.

I find it amazing comforting to realize among all the uncomfortable situations that surround us, there is this shield, or force field of individuals if you will, that will push back just enough to make room for someone like me, for someone like you. Someone willing and so passionate about something, who is willing to stop, and explain how and why something is so important and share their passion and energy with you – call it what you will – but that is magical, that is powerful, and that is generous.

I admire the amazing impression Petra Mayer left on others through the interviews and choices she pushed forward to other to help them get through moments that they could not see past, and all done with the turn of a page or a choice of a book.

I will think of this now every time I look at NPR’s book portal – and I hope you will look at things differently too when you have someone willing to share their passion or discovery with you, in the hopes that they see someone that will understand the value of such an act.

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