Queen Victoria Public SchoolToronto, Ontario 161 / 806 Books Given
Principal Alana Hardy
Our school is a very large, K-8, Inner City school with a diverse population that includes a majority of students who are English Language Learners in all Divisions (Kindergarten, Primary, Junior & Intermediate). We also have numerous Special Education classrooms, all of whom require a wide-ranging selection of rich texts of all sorts! In addition, we have FIVE classes of Full-Day Kindergarten students, so my audience is both large and quite varied! In addition, Queen Victoria is located in Parkdale, in the city's West-End. While there is a strong sense of belonging here, the community also faces a number of challenges in terms of housing, recreation and access to Social Services/resources of all kinds, which puts our students at greater risk for School Readiness, generally.
Having said all that, the school has a reputation for being progressive in a variety of ways. For example, we run a STEAM Conference every year for our Intermediate students. In addition, we are also very committed to social issues and we are currently in the process of responding to the call for Truth and Reconciliation. As a staff, we have made a two-year commitment to "Indigenize" our school. So far, this has involved consulting Elders, attending workshops, bringing in story-tellers, re-visioning our Garden and hopefully, with the help of Indigo's Adopt-a-School program, being able to amend the Library collection so as to include more books that are written by our Indigenous people, and about their history.
In addition, it has been several years since our Love-of-Reading grant and the time has come to update many classroom libraries; especially given our focus on purchasing books that relate to a more diverse racial background, specifically Indigenous Peoples.
Lastly, I have run the FOREST OF READING for 11 years at Queen Vic, and while it is amazingly engaging, running it consumes a fair chunk of my budget. This, in addition, to just trying to keep up with the calls for other recently published books leads me to re-apply for support for my school.
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Three books that every library should have are "Legend" by Marie Lu, "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly, and "Lost and Found" by Oliver Jeffers. These books cover readers of all ages, and are amazing stories that I personally loved. "Legend" by Marie Lu is a great book for early ...
My son was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and was having difficulty learning to read. He was placed in a small reading group facilitated by one of the amazing staff, who took the time to get to know my son and how he processed information. I am delighted to say that now he adores reading ...