JISD Library Services Newsletter

May 2021

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JISD Writes Together Superintendent's Voice of Excellence Award Winners

Dr. Ball and Mrs. Thompson, Lead Librarian, presented awards to 3 students and 2 classes for the inaugural year of the JISD Writes Together Superintendent’s Voice of Excellence Award!


Congratulations to Ms. Switaj’s (Judson Middle School) and Ms. Lacey-Cipriano’s (Veterans Memorial HS) classes for 1st place Class Collaborative Writing. Ms. Switaj's class also won the Superintendent's Voice of Excellence Award for Class Collaborative Writing.


Ivy Keane-Dawes (Kitty Hawk MS) - 1st place essay & Superintendent’s Voice of Excellence Award for Middle School


Sofia Garza (Veterans Memorial HS)- 1st place essay & Superintendent’s Voice of ExcellenceAward for High School

Jessyca Goldman (Veterans Memorial HS) - 1st Place poetry

JHS @ The Texas Library Association Administrators' Conference

On April 22, 2021, Judson High School Principal Jesus Hernandez, III, and Librarian Mariya Ortiz presented a special session during the Texas Library Association's School Administrators' Conference. This special conference-within-a conference is an invitation-only event designed to help administrators deepen their understanding of the power of school library programs to actualize student success. Mr. Hernandez and Mrs. Ortiz delivered a session called "Library Lingo: What on Earth is My Librarian Talking About?" geared at helping principals and other district leaders create allies from their librarians to help accomplish organizational goals. School library goals align with campus and district goals and provide one more powerful lever to influence connection for all district stakeholders. Strong library programs create strong schools, impact achievement, and can even help close learning gaps-- especially for at-risk populations.


Also represented from JISD at the Administrators' Conference were:

From Veterans Memorial High School, Assistant Principal Sandra Arellano and Librarian Pamela Thompson

From Hartman Elementary, Principal Monica Rodriguez, Assistant Principal Melissa Martinez, and Librarian Sara Pena


Administrators that attended also received FREE entry to the entire three-day virtual conference, so they were able to attend many educational presentations and author visits including Matthew McConaughey, author of Greenlights.


If you are an administrator that would like to learn more about librarians and how we can impact student achievement on your campus, tell your librarian that you would like to attend IN-PERSON in 2022 in Ft. Worth!

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JISD Reads Together

It is NOT too late to participate in the JISD Reads Together Program!

Stop by your library to pick up a copy of The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora or find it on Sora.


Click HERE for a Choice Board on Arturo Zamora.


Go on a Journey to Miami with Pablo Cartaya as he shows you his inspiration for the book (2 min).


· Read The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya.

· Submit a quick video telling us your take on the book via FlipGrid.

· Submit a question for the author's visit via FlipGrid.


· Join our virtual author visit on Tuesday, May 20th @ 10 a.m. (see your librarian for the Zoom code as we get closer to the date)

JISD Community Cookbook

In the spirit of our JISD Reads Together title, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, we are creating a JISD Community Cookbook. Submit your recipe HERE! Tell us about your recipe. Is it a family recipe that has been passed down? Is it something you and your family prepare for a special occasion? What is the story of your family through the joy of food?

Provide a story, a complete recipe (including ingredients and directions), and a picture (optional). The picture, if you choose to share it, doesn't have to just be of the food. It can be of you and your family preparing it.

In-BeTWEEN Book Club

The In beTWEEN Book Club had its monthly meeting on April 27th. We read and discussed the book, Flunked by Jen Calonita. Read it NOW on SORA.


Congratulations to Sean D. for winning a prize bag!

JISD YA Book Club

The JISD YA Book Club discussed our Reads Together title in April. We had an engaging discussion and talked about the various ways teachers are using the title in their classes; Spanish, Culinary Arts, Creative Writing, and Business.


Join us for our last book club discussion of this year on May 11th @ 4:30. We are reading Just Wreck It All by N. Griffin. The book is available in print at all 3 high schools and in e-Book format in Sora. See your librarian for the Zoom code.

BYOBook Adult Book Club

Our JISD Libraries BYOBook Adult Book Club had an interesting conversation about helping people see the largeness inside themselves. We were inspired by Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings.

Looking to connect around great books, better friends, and big ideas, join us on Monday, May 24th for our final adult book club of the year. We'll be discussing Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale.

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Upcoming Summer Reading Opportunities

High School Read Woke Rumble

In March of 2022, we will have our first Read Woke Rumble for all of our high school students, but students may begin preparing for the Rumble this summer!


The competition will be made up of two parts; a quick-fire, quiz-style competition over 5 pre-selected books followed by big picture questions about any Read Woke book. Students will be required to use evidence from any of the books they read to support or refute the chosen statement in a UIL impromptu style response. There is not a required number of books that should be read, but the more you read, the better!


The pre-selected titles below may be found in print at your school library, in Sora in e-book and audiobook formats (using the San Antonio Public Library partnership for some titles), and in print at SAPL.


The 5 pre-selected books are:


  1. Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

  2. Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

  3. They Called Us Enemy by George Takai, Justin Eisinger, Steve Scott

  4. Fat Chance Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

  5. How it all Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi


The Read Woke criteria are titles that:


  • Challenge a social norm
  • Tell the side of the oppressed
  • Provide information about a group that has been disenfranchised
  • Seek to challenge the status quo
  • Shed light on an issue that many may not perceive as being an issue

Battle of the Books 2021

Thus far, we have completed the first two rounds of the 5th-grade Battle of the Books competition using a Kahoot! challenge. The Championship Round is taking place this week. Look for the announcement of the winners soon!


We look forward to returning to a team competition in person in 2022!


Will you have a 5th-grader next school year, or will you be teaching 5th-grade next year? Get started reading the new books this summer! See the button below.

Summer Reading Edition

Look for our Summer Reading Edition Newsletter later this month. It will be filled with reading opportunities both within our district and around the city!

Programming @ YOUR JISD Libraries

Celebrating School Library Month @ VMHS

Students in Ms. Evans' and Ms. Rodriguez's art classes have been painting bookends for School Library Month during April. Last month, we featured Wonder, The Fault in Our Stars, and various fantastical images.


Since our last publication, we have added:

Percy Jackson

The Life of Pi

Read Woke

The American Flag

David from the David Shannon picture book series

The 4 houses of Harry Potter

Earth Day & School Library Month @ CVE

Our Coronado Village students celebrated Earth Day and School Library Month in April by creating recycled book characters! Their creativity is displayed all over our library for our school community to enjoy!

Earth Day @ Hartman

Students at Hartman Elementary learned all about Earth Day and how they can help take care of our planet. They created masterpieces of their favorite book characters out of recycled materials and showcased them in the library for all to see.

Dinosaurs @ Copperfield

Kindergarten classes began a dinosaur unit in their classrooms so the Copperfield Library was turned into a paleontology dig. Students got hats and used tools to chip away at stones to find fossils. We discussed how fossils are made over time and how bones and teeth are discovered and end up in museums.
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Fun @ Hopkins

In April, students celebrated National Poetry Month by writing Blackout Poetry and Animal Poems to submit for the Young American Poetry Digest. Several students' poems were chosen and we can't wait to see them in print! Everyone also had the opportunity to select a poem for Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Fifth-grade students battled it out, book-style, during the Battle of the Books competition, ending with a celebration for their hard work. Half of the team made it to Round 2!

Hopkins finished out the month of April by reading The Word Collector by Peter Hamilton Reynolds and collecting all of our favorite words to prepare for his virtual visit on May 19. We can't wait!

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Lead Librarian, Pamela Thompson

If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact Pamela Thompson, Lead Librarian.