Beginning in Pre-K, Gig Harbor Academy students visit the school library on a weekly basis. Just as fostering a love of learning through reading is at the heart of our work, the library is fittingly located in the center of our main building. More than a physical place on campus though, the library represents an invitation to every child to wonder, ask, imagine, and discover.
A typical visit to the library begins with a warm welcome from our Librarian, who also frequents the classes as a Learning Support Specialist. The time together might include a read-aloud, a community-building activity, or a connection to an in-class project, but always culminates with book check-out time. It is not uncommon to hear a sing-along joyfully fill the space when our youngest learners visit. As students grow throughout their elementary years, it is our hope to guide them toward making connections to their own lives and experiences through literature and to encourage them to explore an array of genres and topics in order to become more well-rounded, lifelong readers.
Treasured and shared by all, the library also presents an opportunity for students to learn to collectively take care of something. The rituals of the library – from how we move our bodies and speak in the space to how books are handled from the shelves, home, and back – are meant to promote a sense of stewardship. We work to purposefully curate literature and informational texts that meet a wide range of reading levels, spark fresh interest in our students, and represent diverse perspectives. Students enthusiastically anticipate the twice-annual Book Fairs, which promote at-home literacy and generate funds to maintain current and highly engaging titles in the library.