One small thing

Doug Johnson at the Blue Skunk blog has re-posted a heartfelt commentary that he wrote after a devastating school shooting in Minnesota two years ago.  In “The Need for Community” he comments:

“In our efforts to improve our schools and reduce school expenditures, extra-curricular activities are often first on the chopping block. Politicians and taxpayers see music, arts and athletics as superfluous. The “basics” are reading, writing, math and other purely classroom pursuits. Guidance counselors, teacher-librarians, coaches and club sponsors are nice extras only tangentially related to the real purpose of school. . . .”

Although those types of cuts don’t happen at every school, his points are still excellent ones.   All the pieces in a school that socially support our students are vitally important.

At lunch Friday, a group of us were talking informally about how we could help prevent students from slipping through the cracks. We talked about students that we need to help find a place for and what programs we  have or could implement to help with that.   I know that somber conversations like this are happening at schools and colleges across the country.

Johnson goes on to personalize this to library/technology programs:

“How many of us as teacher-librarians or technology coordinators make a conscious effort to create “communities” for our own students, especially for those kids who do not seem to have much success with the traditional organizations. . . .You never know what one thing may make a difference.”

He points out that libraries and technology programs often provide a niche for those students who may not find one somewhere else.  And while I do think libraries are pretty good at providing a sense of place for students, there is always room to do much more.

So along with Doug, I join in asking–what one small thing can each of us do?  It might be the one thing that makes a difference.

My first one small thing?–I’ve decided to open up an extra little office we have on Fridays for students in the computer club to come in and play video games.

What’s yours?

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