St. Boniface School in Kersey recently opened the new 2011-2012 school year with a new library and computer lab, due in part to a $10,000 grant from the AJ and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust.
"The design was discussed and created through an evaluation. We wanted to make our library more appealing so children could sit on the carpet, easily reach for a book and enjoy the overall aesthetics of the library," said St. Boniface Principal Marie Giazzoni.
The newly renovated library is bright, comfortable and child-friendly. It is located near the entrance of the school and houses approximately 3,000 books for preschoolers through fifth grade students.
The bright yellow paint and blue curtains and drapes, handmade by St. Boniface teachers, welcomes student inside, where they can lounge on several beanbag chairs or pillows while reading their favorite book. The new layout consists of two low shelves lining both walls as well as an additional smaller shelf on a front wall and a center shelving unit.
A teacher's desk includes access to the school's electronic card catalog, featuring Alexandria Software, a computerized system where books can be scanned in and out of circulation. The software was purchased two years ago through a grant from the Elk County Community Foundation.
With the new library, St. Boniface instituted a new Accelerated Reader program allowing for students to take unlimited quizzes after finishing a book, thus encouraging them to advance to the next reading level.
A new Star Reading Program, an assessment-based screening, has also been introduced. The program tests students at their own reading level.
"Each teacher does their own library work," Giazzoni added.
St. Boniface secretary Dominica Tamburlin assists in re-stocking the library shelves with books students have returned.
"We re-stock the library with new books obtained with proceeds from our two annual book fairs, along with donations," Giazzoni said.
The configuration of the former library was geared toward kindergarten through eighth grade students; however, the new library caters to the school's current makeup of preschool to fifth grade students.