Wanamaker Library Newsletter

Year End News for 2021-22

Big picture

Hooray for Spring!

After a couple of crazy months of up and down weather, the kindergarten classes finally found spring! We read the book Hooray for Spring! in our library classes before heading outside to look for signs of spring around our school. Armed with Mrs. Reinert's i-phone and i-pad, the students roamed all around the school grounds looking for those first signs of new life. It was so fun to see them get excited about taking a photo of their findings! Click on the link below to view a one minute video of their efforts...and Happy Spring!

Ground Zero Captivates 6th Graders

What a great way to end the year in our 6th grade library classes---by finishing our read aloud of Ground Zero by Alan Gratz. We started the book back in September in conjunction with our Skype visit with 9/11 survivor, Robert Matos (October 2021 newsletter article). Ground Zero was a beautiful complement to Mr. Matos's moving personal account of that fateful day in 2001.


Gratz wrote Ground Zero in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and tells his fictional story of history and hope, revenge and fear through the eyes of 9 year old Brandon and 11 year old Reshmina (alternating chapters). Brandon and his dad are in the World Trade Center the day of the attacks (2001) and Reshmina is a girl in present day Afghanistan (2019) who has grown up in the shadow of war but also dreams of peace and progress. The book links the past and the present in a way that surprised our students and kept them listening until the very end of the book.


Alec, 6th grade student, had this to say about Ground Zero, "I liked how it had the perspectives of two characters and how their stories came together in the end. I also thought it was interesting how Afghanistan was not aware of the 9/11 tragedy and how it affected our country."


Since the 6th graders were not even born yet at the time of the 9/11 tragedy, this book, along with Mr. Matos's Skype visit, gave our students an in-depth look at that part of our nation's history.


Alan Gratz is the New York Times best-selling author of 17 novels. As a result of this read aloud, many students checked out Gratz's other novels in our library collection.

Students Shine in End of Year Activities

The end of the school year brings several special events in the library!


Twelve 2nd graders completed the Bill Martin, Jr. Challenge. They read all 10 Bill Martin, Jr. picture book nominees and completed a form on each book that asked questions about the book as well as provided space for the student to draw a picture of their favorite scene from the story. These students were rewarded by being allowed to eat their lunches in the library, followed by ice cream and brownie sundaes. Congratulations to Kate, Flynn, Ainsley, Maddy, John, Ellison, Everly, Madelyn, Elissa, Mhelina, Aubrey, and Aspen!


The Battle of the Books competition was held on Friday, May 20, in the WE gym. Nine student teams (over 50 students) and two staff teams participated in the competition. Team members collaborated and earned points by being able to identify which current William Allen White book specific questions and quotes came from. There were 22 William Allen White books this year, so that was a lot of details participants had to be familiar with!


There were some VERY close contests! Since we ran out of time for the final round of competition between the winning student team and the winning staff team, we held it after the all-school assembly the last week of school. The student team pulled off the victory, but it was close the entire match! Thank you to ALL who participated in this fun end-of-year activity!


A Used Book Exchange was held in the library the last week of school to promote summer reading. Students were invited to bring used books in good condition to be exchanged for another book(s) of their choosing. There were enough donations of used books that every student was able to come and choose a new-to-them book to take home for the summer. Each student was also given a scented bookmark to try out with their new book! Thank you to everyone who donated used books to the cause!

Books and Cookies

Mrs. Reinert provided a Barnes and Noble outing as part of the silent auction at the Wanamaker Spring Dance sponsored by the PTA in May. One day after school, Mrs. Reinert and Ella (third grade recipient of the outing) headed to Barnes and Noble. We browsed the books to find the "perfect one" before enjoying a cookie from the Cafe. Thanks, Ella, for a fun afternoon!
Big picture

Thank you, Library Leaders!

We have 6 sixth grade students who acted as library leaders this year. They applied for the positions last August, and they have proven to be a big help in the library. Some of the tasks they perform include: checking in/out of books, shelving books, helping younger students with book choices, putting up/taking down bulletin boards, and anything else that we ask of them! When asked why they like being library leaders, they agree that they like the library atmosphere and helping out, especially with the younger students. Thank you, Reagan, Bella, Jaslene, Alyssa, Kenadie, and Payton for all your help and enthusiasm!
Big picture

Did you Know?

Did you know that reading during the summer can significantly improve your reading skills? Instead of losing knowledge during those lazy, hot, summer days, reading will help you gain new knowledge. The good news is that you can pick anything to read that interests you. It doesn't matter what you choose to read, it's just important to do it!


Be part of Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's Summer Reading & Events June 1- July 31! A trip to the library, bookmobile or tscpl.org is a great way to keep brains active and entertained with an Ocean of Possibilities themed activities. Learn more about the reading challenge, the gallery's art exhibit for kids and events full of games, crafts and fun at tscpl.org/summer.


Wanamaker students who complete the summer reading program at TSCPL and bring their completion certificate to Mrs. Reinert will be invited to an ice cream sundae/brownie party when school starts in August!

Big picture

Librarians Gather at Wanamaker Elementary

I'm so proud to be a Kansas librarian! April was School Library Month, and it was the perfect time for the Kansas Association of School Librarians Northeast District Workshop to be held at Wanamaker Elementary.

It was a fabulous day filled with learning and fellowship! The day's agenda included featured author/artist Angie Pickman, several general session presenters, and numerous breakout session presenters.

Alice Reinert was the director of the workshop and she was assisted by Dr. Shyla Biju, librarian at Landon Middle School, Topeka.

A big shout out to Dakota Mumford, WE Assistive Tech Aide, for his tech support and decorating genius; Mike Weatherford, WE Art Instructor, for the beautiful artwork on the library office windows (pictured above); and Jenny Armstrong, WE Library Clerk, for the wonderful hallway displays (pictured below).

Thank you to all who helped or participated in the workshop in ANY way!

Big picture

It's Been a Great Year!

Many good things happened in the library this year! Here is a summary of some of the statistics and happenings that took place during the 2021-22 school year:


  • The total number of materials circulated was 23,716.
  • The total number of items housed in the WE library was 12,846.
  • The total number of library lessons taught was 988.
  • The total number of PebbleGo database logins was 13,189.
  • Six 6th grade students acted as Library Leaders and helped out in the library on a weekly basis. Thank you to Payton, Alyssa, Bella, Kenadie, Reagan, and Jaslene!
  • Four adult volunteers helped out in the library on a weekly basis. They were an important part of our village! Thank you to Judy Liezert, Judy Schultz, Sharlene Christensen, and Patty Jolley!
  • There was collaboration with the 6th grade social studies teacher and team on a Skype visit with 9/11 survivor, Robert Matos.
  • The library and art department collaborated on a school-wide bookmark contest.
  • Kansas Book Festival author, Jane Kurtz, visited in-person with all 4th graders.
  • All 2nd graders participated in the Global Read Aloud author study and connected to students from around the world by using Skype, Padlet, and snail mail.
  • The 2nd graders took part in three Mystery Skypes with classes from New York and Illinois as part of the Global Read Aloud.
  • A Picture Book Challenge was held in November with individual and school wide goals achieved.
  • Approximately 150 students participated in the Gingerbread Book Character contest.
  • There was collaboration with 4th grade teachers and the art teacher on the Famous Kansan research projects.
  • One Scholastic book fair was held.
  • Eighteen classes participated in the March Book Madness Tournament.
  • The Battle of the Books Competition involved 9 student teams and 2 staff teams.
  • Twelve 2nd graders completed the Bill Martin, Jr. Challenge.
  • A Used Book Exchange was held for all WE students, so they could take a new-to-them book home with them for the summer.
  • A Student Council Bucks 4 Books fundraising campaign resulted in a $1,000.00 donation to the American Library Association and a $300.00 donation to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund on behalf of Wanamaker Elementary.
  • Student Council held 18 meetings and several community service projects in the library. Mrs. Reinert was a co-sponsor of the organization.
  • Mrs. Reinert acted as a moderator for an author session at the 2021 Kansas Book Festival held at Washburn University.
  • Mrs. Reinert was the director of the Kansas Association of School Librarians NE District Workshop that was held at Wanamaker Elementary.
  • Mrs. Reinert was a co-presenter with Lindsay Kufahl, Farley librarian, on "How to Build Your Classroom Library" at the District Professional Development Day.

Thank you to all who supported the WE library this year!

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.