Wanamaker Library Newsletter

October 2019

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Thank you to Zinnia Bayardo for this poster we have hanging on our library doors. She graciously shares her design with anyone who would like to have a copy. I was introduced to it by Jennifer LaGarde, a presenter at the Summer Institute for Librarians held this summer in Emporia. I love that it acts as a WELCOME to anyone who enters our library!

Author visits with 5th graders

Author Angie Pickman from Lawrence, Kansas, shared her book and art with the 5th graders at Wanamaker Elementary on September 13. Ms. Pickman was in Topeka as a presenter at the Kansas Book Festival held the next day at the Capitol.

She is the author of the book Merry Menagerie, using her cut paper art as the book's illustrations. She shared her beautifully detailed artwork with the students, explaining that after trying her hand at a couple of business ventures, she found that her real passion is art. She wasn't afraid of the hard work and perseverance it took to get her start as an artist, author, and animator. She encouraged the students to find their passions and work hard to make their dreams come true.

Fifth grade teacher, Sara Evans, had this to say about the presentation, "Visiting author and illustrator, Angie Pickman, gave our 5th graders a new perspective on how books and illustrations are made. It was interesting how Ms. Pickman connected the art she had done as an elementary student with the art she does today. It inspired the students to know they can easily take what they are currently doing to make it their own special kind of art."

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

6th graders connect with a 9/11 survivor

The 6th grade social studies classes had a very meaningful Skype experience recently. 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.

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 at age 37 (the age he was in 2001), he was more interested in the material aspects of living. His experience helped teach him that friends and family are so much more important than any material goods. The tragedy was also 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. Fairchild, said, "The 6th graders thought it was well worth their time. Their biggest take away was 'live your life.'" The students wrote Thank You notes to Mr. Matos to show their appreciation of him sharing this experience with them.


A year or so ago Mrs. Reinert signed our school up as a candidate for the #KidsNeedMentors program--a program that was started a few years ago by the team of author/illustrator Jarrett Lerner and two 5th grade teachers. This program pairs a published author with a teacher/classroom, and they collaborate throughout the school year. The team's hope is that this project will lead to increased communication and collaboration among educators and creators, and that this will, in turn, enrich and improve the lives of kids.

It was exciting to learn this summer that our school had been chosen to participate in the program this year. Mrs. Fewell's 5th grade class has been paired with author Shannon Stocker of Crestwood, Kentucky. She is the author of the picture book Can U Save the Day, a delightful book about consonants and vowels. The possibilities for this collaboration are endless, and teachers/authors are encouraged to be creative and make it be whatever they wish it to be for the students. Ideas among collaborators are exchanged on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook groups.

Mrs. Fewell says of the collaboration, "As a published author, Shannon Stocker has insight that many of us don't--I can't stress how invaluable this opportunity is for my students!" It will be exciting to see what this collaboration brings, and we will continue to chronicle this experience in future newsletters.

William Allen White Award Winners

Mrs. Reinert introduced the WAW books for 2019-20 to Grades 3-6 during the week of Sept. 9-13. There are two Master Lists--one for Grades 3-5 and one for Grades 6-8. Many of the students also signed up for the WAW Book Challenge that will run from now through April. Those who complete the Challenge will be invited to an ice cream and brownie party in May. At the end of class the students signed up for a drawing that was held to see who got to be the first to check out the new WAW books!

Kindergarteners and Johnny Appleseed

Did you know that Johnny Appleseed Day was September 26th? The kindergarteners learned all about John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) during their library classes last week. We read a short biography of Appleseed as well as sang a song about him planting apple trees all across the land. At the end of the lesson the students sampled apple strudel and took the recipe home with them! It was a fun way to celebrate the beginning of autumn!

Upcoming Dates

Oct. 4 & 18-- Student Council meeting in the library at 8:00 a.m.

Oct. 15--Student-Led Book Club meeting (5th and 6th graders) in the library at 8:00 a.m. Please bring your book with you and wear your tee-shirt if you would like!

Oct. 24--Mrs. Reinert will present on the topic of Mystery Skype at the Kansas Library Association Conference held in Overland Park, Ks.

Oct. 14-31--Book Character Potato Decorating Contest held in the WE Library Potato Patch. Watch for details to come home with your student!

Oct. 28-31--Student Council will sell Boo Grams to raise money for our holiday service project.

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.