why didn't i think of that


Wagner Community School Library showcases student art

by Sasha Podhradsky, senior, Wagner Community School

Art alley at Wagner Community school library

The library at Wagner Community School (WCS) is used for much more than just checking out books! In addition to other activities, students from all grades take advantage of the library's art display. Brenda DeHaan, librarian, and Eric Peters, high school art teacher, collaborated to create "Art Alley" for all students to appreciate.

As WCS staff and students pass the library, they often stop to look at the artwork. The shelves dividing the library from the hallways are lined with students' art projects. Junior, Brooklyn Tolliver's work is displayed within the library itself. Her "shadow art" consists of a base with cardboard arranged in various ways on top of it. A spotlight placed a few feet away from the base creates the shadow of a girl reading which is modeled after Tolliver, herself.

shadow art at Wagner Community school library

Peters asked Tolliver to create a shadow of her reading and told her the piece would be displayed in the library. Tolliver said that to start her project, she had someone trace her shadow onto paper. Then she just started adding more and more pieces of cardboard onto the base until it filled her outline. It took approximately two hours for her to complete the project. Tolliver says that she likes how much people enjoy looking at it. Some little kids even told her that they saw the shadow move!

In addition to Tolliver's piece within the library, dozens of pieces of artwork line the shelves on the outside, including pieces from the elementary art classes lining the hallway on the elementary/middle school side. Jacob Kucera, a WCS senior with a sketch displayed, said that he likes having his art on display, but he only wants his best pieces showing.

Hailey Hilzendeger, a WCS junior, also has her work displayed in the hallways, including a watercolor painting. Hilzendeger said, "We're all really proud of our pieces when we get them done, so having people see and complement our work is really nice."

Art alley at Wagner Community school library

Megan Zephier, a WCS sophomore, says she loves having her work shown to other people, even if it's just for a little while. Currently, Zephier has her expressionist paintings and drawings displayed. She likes walking down the hallways and seeing people react to her art. She said that little kids will often come up to her and compliment her work. Zephier said this helped her decide to go into animating kid movies. She also commented that she thinks it is cool having everyone's work on display because it shows that their creative interests are all different. When it comes time to work on her next piece, Zephier said seeing all the work helps with her "creative flow."

The library is open every day until 4 p.m. with the exception of early-release days. Students often find themselves in the library, even if they are not checking out a book. If you haven't seen "Art Alley" at the WCS library, stop by!

Reprinted by permission of The Raider Report, Wagner High School Student Newspaper. Photos by Julia Ulrich.


Reading Olympians earn medals at Memorial Middle School

by Laura Allard, Memorial Middle School librarian, Sioux Falls

The Memorial Middle School Reading Olympics began on January 2 and ended February 24, with over 200 medals given. The Reading Olympics generated excitement among the students and included a decathlon, which encouraged them to read in five different genres.

Participants, both students and staff, turned in their completed sheets, before the weekly medals ceremonies. We played the Olympic theme music, and as students' names were announced, they stood on the podium, got handshakes, received their medals and got their pictures taken. Those who read two books earned a bronze, four books earned a silver medal and six books earned a gold medal.

The ceremonies were really neat because whole classes would come down and cheer each other on and cheer on their teachers who earned medals. We also kept track of which team earned the most medals.

See complete details at the Reading Olympics website.


Literacy Leaders promote life-long reading in Gettysburg

By Julie Poeppel, Gettysburg High School English Teacher

In an effort to encourage a habit of life-long reading, the Gettysburg High School novel class sponsored a project called "Literacy Leaders."

In the first step, each of the five students made a picture poster of himself/ herself that shared personal reading history, summarized and recommended a favorite book, and offered suggestions for reading improvement.

Next the students recognized five community Literacy Leaders to take part in the project and conducted interviews regarding their reading habits. From there other students and teachers were invited to join in the project. Questionnaires were sent to interested participants. The returned comments were summarized by the novel class and a picture was taken of the participants reading a book, newspaper, or something else that showed support of literacy.

Thanks to the help, support, and encouragement of GHS librarian, Mary Quiett, the pictures were printed in color in the school media center. The 40 posters were next constructed and laminated before being displayed throughout the elementary, junior high and high school for students and visitors to see.

The intention of the project was to stir up interest of reading in people of all ages and to remind the Gettysburg community that life-long reading is important to all.

I first conducted the Literacy Leader project five years ago with my senior English class. They began with posters of themselves. Next they wrote letters to local merchants to ask if they could display their posters in the front window of their businesses. They each then interviewed an employee of those businesses as the subjects of their second posters. When those were completed, a small representation of the class presented the project before the Rotary Club and asked each of them to take and display a poster of a fellow business person. Like this year's in-school project, the response was very positive.

novel class students from gettysburg high school
Photo: Gettysburg novel class students Austin Dutenhoeffer, Julissa Fillmore-Melendez, Brooke Miller, Shelby Kilian, and Paige Cordell standing beside Mrs. Poeppel's Literacy Leader poster.


Little Free Library is feeding hunger for books

by Wendy Brunnemann, Wall Community Library

little free library at Wall community libary

bookmark from Wall community libaryThe Little Free Library was dreamt up as a way to get books out to the community. Wall Community Library donates all its deaccessioned and unneeded books to the Country Cupboard Food Pantry (CCFP). The CCFP is free to use the books, sell them, or distribute them as they see fit. They are a 501(c)(3) whose mission it is to provide supplemental food for those in need.

Some of the books are taken to the Food Pantry and clients are encouraged to take and enjoy them. Additionally, the CCFP holds a book sale at the annual Wall Craft Fair. The Chamber of Commerce hosts the event and generously donates the space. Lastly, the CCFP has made a number of Little Free Libraries and distributed them to the hotels, campgrounds, and interested local businesses -- especially during the summer months -- as a way to spread the word about the CCFP and the Wall Community Library. The books are given away for free but donations are accepted in the form of canned and non-perishable goods or monetary donations. The CCFP has received a few hundred dollars in donations from these efforts and hopes to use it in a joint Food Pantry/Library project. We are happy that our unneeded books can be used in a way to give back to our community.


art, books, community,event, Gettysburg, librarian, literacy, newspaper, Sioux Falls, teacher, teens, Wall




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