Wanamaker Library Newsletter

October 2021

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6th Graders Connect with a 9/11 Survivor

The 6th grade social studies classes had a very meaningful Skype experience on September 10. They connected with Robert Matos, a 9/11 survivor who lives in New Jersey. Mr. Matos so generously shared his time with our students by telling them about the events of that day as he experienced them and the aftermath of the tragedy in an age appropriate presentation. This year marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11.


Mr. Matos worked on the 84th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center and escaped 10 minutes before it collapsed. He told the students that he lost co-workers and friends that day, and the tragedy was a reminder that we should be the best person we can be, showing kindness and helping others when we can. He said he saw so many positive ways that our nation and communities came together after the tragedy.


Social studies teacher, Mrs. Francis, said, " The opportunity to listen to a 9/11 survivor allowed the students to connect with history at a personal level. The students were completely engaged in the presentation and asked mature thoughtful questions. Many students commented that they would always remember the presentation on 9/11 every year and how it changed people's lives. The students said they would mostly remember how people thought of and helped others before themselves, and how Mr. Matos helps keeps the memories of his friends and colleagues alive by taking his time to present to us."


The students wrote heartfelt Thank You letters to Mr. Matos to show their appreciation of him sharing this experience with them.


In addition to connecting with Mr. Matos, the 6th grade classes are reading Ground Zero by Alan Gratz. He wrote it in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. With both of these experiences, the students now have a clearer picture of the tragedy of 9/11 and its effects on our country and its people.

Author Jane Kurtz Visits with 4th Graders

Award-winning author Jane Kurtz from Portland, Oregon shared details about her life as an author and a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Ethiopia Reads with the 4th graders at Wanamaker Elementary on September 17. Ms. Kurtz was in Topeka as a presenter at the Kansas Book Festival held the next day on the Washburn University campus.


Jane is the author of more than 40 books---fiction and nonfiction, picture books and novels. She was born in Portland, Oregon; however, when she was two years old, her parents moved to Ethiopia where she spent most of her childhood. Jane draws on those experiences in many of her books, and the students enjoyed the pictures of people and animals she showed them taken from her childhood and her life in Ethiopia.


In addition to writing her own books, Jane is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Ethiopia Reads that works to bring books, libraries, and literacy practices to the children in Ethiopia.


Fourth grade student, Eleanor, said, "She gave us good advice by telling us we can get good ideas from the world around us."


The students wrote Thank You notes to Ms. Kurtz using the digital bulletin board platform Padlet. We appreciated her taking time out of her busy schedule to visit with us!

International Dot Day

Grades K-2 celebrated International Dot Day in their library classes the week of Sept. 13-17. Dot Day centers around the classic book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. The book challenges us to "Make your mark, and see where it takes you."


In addition to The Dot, we also read Press Here. The students loved this fun and interactive book by Herve Tullet!


The students had a great time making dots of all designs and sizes.

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2nd Graders Kick off the Global Read Aloud with mystery skypes

The 2nd grade classes will be participating in the Global Read Aloud Picture Book Study during the month of October. The premise of the GRA is that students around the world are reading the same book at the same time and making connections with each other in various ways. We will be learning about the author Duncan Tonatiuh and his picture books while making connections with our buddy classes---two in Illinois and one in New York.



We kicked the GRA off with two Mystery Skypes, an engaging way for classrooms to introduce themselves to each other. Working from a large map of the United States, students used their map/geography/communication skills to guess the mystery location of the other classrooms. After discovering that our buddy classes are from Illinois and New York, we spent some time sharing details about our schools, cities, and states with each other.


We are excited to learn more about Duncan Tonatiuh and use his books to connect with our new friends!

Thank you, Auburn Washburn Foundation!

This fall our library received a grant from the Auburn Washburn Foundation. The money will be spent purchasing some high/low (high-interest, low-level) materials for our collection. High/low books offer highly engaging age-appropriate subject matter at a low reading level for struggling readers and can help build reading fluency, vocabulary, background knowledge, and interest in reading.

Thank you to the Foundation for their generous contribution and for helping us to update our library resources!

Student Council Corner

Wanamaker Elementary has a very active, service-oriented Student Council. It consists of two representatives and two alternates from each 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classroom. Students apply to be a StuCo member and are chosen based on 4 criteria: teacher recommendation, grades, attendance, and a written statement on why they would like to be a part of StuCo. They take their positions as school leaders seriously, and work hard to be good role models for the younger students. The council meets in the library two mornings a month at 8:00 and also participate/help with other school functions. The sponsors for the Student Council are Mrs. Slimmer, Ms. Burnette, and Mrs. Reinert.
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First Quarter Stats

# of Book Checkouts= 5,400

# of PebbleGo article views= 2,001

# of PebbleGo Next article views= 200

# of Lessons Taught= 233

Upcoming Dates

Month of October--2nd grade participates in the Global Read Aloud Picture Book Study

Oct. 20-- Come out and support the District Libraries' Visiting Author Fund! Let one of the four food trucks available that night provide your dinner! See flyer above.

Oct. 22-- Student Council Meeting in the library at 8:00 a.m.

Oct. 25- 29-- Student Council sells Boo Grams in the library. Forms will be given to interested parents at Parent-Teacher conferences.

Nov. 8-- 2nd graders skype with their buddy classes as part of the Global Read Aloud

Month of November-- Picture Book Month. All students will be invited to participate in our Picture Book Challenge. Please take the time to enjoy some awesome picture books with your student!

Wanamaker Library

We strive to make our library a welcoming place that fosters the love of reading and empowers the school community to become effective users of information.