Shannon Seitz. Courtesy photo
We all find inspiration in something, and LAHS library staff member Shannon Seitz found her inspiration at the What’s New in Young Adult Literature seminar held earlier this month in Albuquerque.
Seitz was able to attend the seminar thanks to a professional development grant from the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation.
Specifically designed for secondary teachers, school librarians and public librarians, the seminar offers a comprehensive overview of the best new books for young adults that have been published in the last year. Attendees leave with practical, ready-to-use ideas for selecting and utilizing the best new young adult literature that fit within their curriculum.
According to Seitz, it wasn’t just about selecting new books for the school’s library, rather finding ways to connect with students, supporting teachers’ curriculum, and most importantly helping students and teachers find their own sources of inspiration.
“Connecting students and staff with books that interest them inspires me,” Seitz said. “It feels good, being able to make recommendations to students and staff who come in looking for something to read, and then asking what they thought when the book is returned. It opens up dialog, a relationship is built, and ideas are shared. It’s one of my favorite aspects of my job.”
It is the purpose of the LAHS library to promote pleasure reading, in addition to assigned reading, which helps students develop a richer learning experience and better fluency and literacy. The LAHS library staff takes suggestions from staff and students, along with journals, podcasts, websites and blogs to select which books to purchase for the library. Being able to attend the What’s New in Young Adult Literature seminar gives the library staff a huge advantage and allows them to pick just the right books.
“To me, books are all about ideas and seeing the world in a different way,” Seitz said. “By connecting with a book, having an Ah-ha! Moment, or feeling in a way never felt before, we are forever changed. The book becomes a part of us, and we take that experience with us wherever we go. By providing a wide selection of titles, we can help students find books that they connect to and that inspire them.”
The LAPS Foundation offers grants to LAPS teachers in three categories: professional development, great ideas, and professional book groups. The Foundation accepts proposals twice a year, with the next grant cycle starting in February, 2018. Teachers interested in learning more should contact LAPS Foundation executive director Laura Loy at email@example.com.
The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is an independent organization that supports, challenges, and invests in a successful future for all Los Alamos public school students. Since its inception in 2005, the LAPS Foundation has donated more than $1 million to fund opportunities and materials for students, provide professional development for district educators, defray operating expenses, and assist with capital improvements to enrich learning environments in the Los Alamos public schools.
The Foundation raises money through generous contributions from individuals and organizations who share the Foundation’s core values that excellent public education is every child’s right, and that excellent public education systems depend on: a well-informed and supportive community, caring and competent educators, a supportive and responsive school environment, and sufficient financing to achieve educational goals.