School Librarian of the Year
Chagrin Falls teacher Lori Guerrini was honored as School Librarian of the Year by the Ohio Education Library Media Association Oct. 18. Guerrini is the library media teacher for the middle and high schools.
The award, sponsored by Follett Library Resources Company, is given to a media specialist who has developed an exemplary school library program, collaborates with classroom teachers, implements technology, demonstrates leadership and advocates for school libraries.
She received the award during the OELMA annual conference Oct. 17 at Kalahari Resort and Conference Center. In her speech, Guerrini credited her fellow teachers, building principals and students for helping her earn the award.
In her 27 years of teaching she has seen many changes in school libraries, especially in the use of technology. However, the librarian’s job remains basically the same, teaching students to find information from a variety of sources and learn to critically evaluate and ethically use the information.
“A school librarian is an instructional partner with everyone in teaching literacy,” she said. “A school librarian has the potential to positively affect every student in the building.”
Egyptian Time Capsules
Chagrin Falls Middle School sixth-graders are creating unique art projects that have a dual purpose: to learn about Egyptian art and culture and to preserve their own childhood memories.
First, students in art teacher Kate Oulton’s classes learned about Egyptian spiritual beliefs; the 1923 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb, which served as a time capsule of the period in which he lived; and the Rosetta Stone, which helped interpret hieroglyphics.
“Egyptians believed they would need to equip a person for their journey into the next world by burying with them things that were deemed important to the person,” Oulton said in a letter to parents explaining the project. Parents were asked to write letters to their children and help them collect photos and artifacts about the child’s interests and activities.
Each student then built a sarcophagus-shaped time capsule out of clay and decorated it with symbols and hieroglyphs that represent his or her life, as well as a symbol of an Egyptian god or goddess and a sculpted, 3-D self-portrait. The capsules will be filled with the artifacts, as well as items representing the student’s ideas and dreams for the future.
The projects are expected to be glazed and completed around Thanksgiving. Each student will take the sealed sarcophagus home at the end of the year, with instructions not to open it for 10 years, or on his or her 21st birthday.
Service Club Brings Smiles
Some Chagrin Falls students are learning at a young age that helping others can be satisfying and fun, too. About 15 children in the Third Grade Service Club at Gurney Elementary School went to Crane House at Judson Retirement and Assisted Living Nov. 6 to help the residents work on a Thanksgiving-related craft.
The club, facilitated by teachers Sheri Halagan and Dale Tschappat, makes monthly visits to either Judson or Hamlet, where they do a variety of activities such as reading aloud, playing card games, and sharing an ice cream party. In October, they wore costumes and sang “Halloween carols” for the seniors.
“It was fun making turkeys and helping the people. I can’t wait to do it again,” said Kate Stephenson.
Cooper Mlakar agreed, “I thought it was cool to work with the residents. It was nice to help them.”
Gladys Pritchett, a Judson resident and college professor, said the visit reminded her of her years teaching third grade. “I love this. What a joy they are,” she said.
About 70 students are in the service club. In addition to the monthly senior activities, the group helps out in the school library, collects items for the USO and holds an annual fundraiser for a charity, such as last year’s “Kick it for Quinn.”
Author Tim Green Visits
Chagrin Falls middle and intermediate schools welcomed New York Times bestselling author Tim Green, who spoke to the sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students in an assembly on Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
Tim Green has published more than 23 books, with 11 of those books for middle grade students. Green graduated co-valedictorian from Syracuse University with a degree in English literature. He was a first-round draft pick in the NFL and played linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons for eight years. During the off-season, Tim Green studied at The College of Law at Syracuse University and earned his law degree in 1994. Tim Green has spoken to more than 700 schools and with all school visits, donates his speaking fee to school libraries and schools in low-income areas to purchase his books.
Green spoke about the extreme importance of education and the value of reading and writing. He also addressed the importance of good sportsmanship on and off the field. He shared his writing experiences and talked about his books written for middle grade readers.
“We are very grateful for the support from the Chagrin Falls PTO and Chagrin Falls Intermediate School, which made this author visit possible,” said Lori Guerrini, teacher librarian, Chagrin Falls Middle School/High School.
Some seventh-grade students read Mr. Green’s book, “Unstoppable,” for summer reading. Other students are currently reading a variety of his books for outside reading through language arts classes.
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