ALA & AASL Resources
PA School Librarians Assn. Resources
YINZER NATION + EDUCATION = YINZERCATION Yinzercation is grassroots advocacy group, initially started by a group of Pittsburgh Public School parents in 2011, in opposition to the state's education budget cuts. The initial group quickly grew into a region-wide movement in Southwest PA of 125 school districts. Yinzercation is committed to great public schools for all students, with adequate, equitable, and sustainable public funding.
AASL Advocacy Brochures
Pennsylvania PTA Conference 2014
Deb Kachel presented at the Pennsylvania PTA Conference, King of Prussia, on April 5, 2014. The session was entitled: "How Quality School Library Programs Help Students Learn: What Parents Need to Know." Here are the PowerPoint and handouts.
Here are links to other resources distributed:
PSLA website "Tools for Parents"
PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. A not-for-profit association of parents, educators, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children.
The Pennsylvania PTA represents a diverse membership and is comprised of members who are actively involved in providing children and youth with various programs and advocating on their behalf.
Parents Made the Difference in the Ephrata Area School District
The certified staffing for the elementary library program at the Ephrata Area School District (Lancaster County, PA) was cut in half for the 2012-13 school year. Four fairly large buildings each had a professional librarian prior to September 2012; in 2012-13, each of the two remaining librarians covered two buildings. In April 2013, when school officials were considering to not replace a retiring elementary librarian, leaving one librarian for four buildings, parents had had enough. Here are articles about how they convinced the district to replace the librarian.
West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC)
WePAC is funded entirely by private dollars and provides all of its services at no cost to schools or to the School District of Philadelphia. Since 2009, WePAC has opened 16 previously closed elementary school libraries, and is currently running 12 libraries in West and Southwest Philadelphia, providing library services in schools with more than 5,000 students.WePAC is the only nonprofit in Philadelphia systematically working to open closed school libraries. While each of Pennsylvania’s state prisons is required by law to have a librarian with a Master’s degree and a large book collection, no such requirements exist for our schools. Year after year, surveys show that for many students, the school library is the only library they visit, and principals report that many kids do not have anyone reading to them at home. http://wepac.org/
Building School and Parent Connections
New Resource to Help Schools Boost Family and Community Engagement
It takes time and effort for schools to cultivate and maintain positive relationships with parents and the community. Yet research shows—and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reiterates—“When parents are involved in the educational process of their children, students are more likely to attend school regularly, to take more rigorous courses, earn higher grades, and graduate and go on to both college and careers.”
To help schools and educators foster relationships that build capacity for student achievement, the U.S. Department of Education has released its Family and Community Engagement Framework. The framework is not a blueprint for increasing engagement, but is instead a compass to set the path for effective engagement. The framework addresses (PDF) current challenges faced by schools in building family-school partnerships, the necessary conditions for successful family-school initiatives, the identification of program goals, and a description of desired outcomes for school staff and families. The report also includes examples of current efforts that bring the framework to life at the school, district, and county levels.
Parents United for Public Education
Parents United for Public Education is an independent, citywide group of Philadelphia parents from multiple schools that focuses on budgeting and accountability in order to ensure resources get to the classroom level. They advocate for improved funding from local and state agencies, as well as the broader Philadelphia community.
Greater Public Schools-Pittsburgh
Library Build of Philadelphia
Library Build is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending educational inequities in Philadelphia through working libraries and library instruction. Library Build was founded in December 2009 by Callie Hammond while she was working in one of Philadelphia's chronically underfunded public schools, a school with no working library for student use, and unsurprisingly, the school was also failing to meet national testing standards as established by the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, the majority of its students were not meeting state grade level standards in reading and writing and the school was ranked near the bottom of all the elementary schools in the state of Pennsylvania. Learn more at http://www.librarybuild.org/.