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March 2015, Volume 7, Issue 3

Continuing Education Alert

Check Your Calendars!!

Read Across America
Mar. 2

World Wildlife Day
Mar. 3

Digging Deeper into Primary Sources
Mar. 6

Daylight Savings Time begins
Mar. 8

Teen Tech Week
Mar. 8-14

Digital Learning Day
Mar. 13

Freedom of Information Day
Mar. 16

D.E.A.R - Drop Everything and Read
Apr. 2015

School Library Month
Apr. 2015

National Library Week
Apr. 12-18

National Library Workers Day
Apr. 14

National Bookmobile Day
Apr. 15

Celebrate Teen Literature Day
Apr. 16

Money Smart Week®
Apr. 18-25

Featured e-Resources of the Month
Heritage Quest and World Book offer new look and functionality

Welcome to the Cornerstone Archives. Find the current newsletter at

In this month's issue


Prairie Bud and Pasque Awards -- Have your students voted?

prairie Bud/ Prairie Pasque

South Dakota's Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque Book Award voting is entering its final month. All SD students in grades K-5 who have read or have had read to them any of the titles on the list appropriate for their grade level are eligible to vote. Voting is online and concludes March 31. The online ballot can be accessed in the school or public library, classroom or at home by the student, a parent, teacher or librarian. Winning titles will be announced during National Library Week in April.


Apply for the 21st Century School Library Award now!

The 2015 application process for the 21st Century School Library Award is now open. Add your school library to the list of 30 libraries already recognized as 21st Century leaders in the state of South Dakota.

The State Library formally recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st Century school library. The library is evaluated for its programs, its library facility and professional staff. These awards, given annually, recognize the status of the library as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary based on the South Dakota School Library guidelines.

Applying for the award requires online submission of the application and supporting evidence. Complete information may be found by clicking 21st Century School Library Award Application.

The South Dakota State Library 21st Century School Library Committee, comprised of SDSL staff, a representative from DOE, and three previous year awardees, reviews all applications. Award announcements are made in early September. Awardees are recognized at the Systems Change Conference in October of each year. Award applications and required supporting materials will be accepted now through May 1. Award status is valid for a two-year period.

For further inquiries and technical assistance, please contact Joan Upell,, or Marta Stirling,, at 800/423-6665.


Celebrate Digital Learning Day on Twitter

Digital Learning Day will be celebrated across the country on March 13. Join us to talk about the digital teaching and learning happening in your library and school. We'll be on Twitter @LibrarySD using #SCHSDSL and #DLDay from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. CT / 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. MT. Tweet at whatever time works in your schedule. Chat for the entire time or just for a few minutes. For help with Twitter questions contact Joan Upell, @Wowapi, or


Everything you need to know about the 2014-2015 School Survey

The 2014-2015 School Library Survey will open on April 1 and close May 13. We've added a few questions and deleted some others to make answering quick and easy on the Counting Opinions platform.

To learn more about the survey, join us for a School Library Twitter Chat on April 9 at 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT. We'll also be hosting a School Survey Helpline via conference call on April 23 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. CT / 9-11 a.m. MT. Watch for details on the listserv as we get closer to these dates.

Between now and April you may want to look for your login and password information. Remember to complete only one survey per district. Contact Joan Upell,, or Marta Stirling,, if you have any questions.


Stewart Elementary: Using Read! SD to Shave or Save

The staff and students of Stewart Elementary in Yankton are having a mustache-ulous time reading during the third quarter of their school year. Using Read! SD's 20 -- 24/7 pledge, the entire school is gearing up for the assessments this spring with a friendly competition called "Shave or Save." Each student at Stewart Elementary is logging how many minutes they are reading every day this quarter. At the end of the quarter, the votes of the Stewart students will determine if Principal Jerome Klimisch's mustache will be shaved or saved. "We love to have fun and challenge our students, but is no coincidence that we are ramping up the reading activities during the third quarter," Bergeson explains. "The testing window is right around the corner. This is the last big effort, and we are making it fun."

stewart elementary shave or save week 1

Reading year-round is extremely important as students grow their reading and comprehension skills. Students who read outside of the school day and during the summer months often have higher achievement than students who do not participate in reading activities outside of the classroom. To support the importance of reading all year long, the Department of Education started its Read! SD campaign in 2013. The initiative asks students to "Grab a Book, Grow a Mind" by pledging to read 20 minutes 24/7.

Although year round reading is important as students develop skills and proficiency as readers, "Shave or Save" and other similar school-wide efforts not only motivate students, but they also demonstrate the fun of reading. Students are recognized for the minutes they are reading, and anyone can be a top reader by reading above and beyond the 20 minutes a day. Bergeson explains, "It's been fantastic to recognize some students who may not get a lot of attention in sports or other areas."

"We are having a great time. The "Save" kids feel strongly but are quite outnumbered so far," shared Bergeson. As excitement has grown throughout the school, other male staff members have joined in the festivities and are having a lot of fun with the students. Four other males at Stewart Elementary have put their facial hair on the line including classroom teachers, information technology staff and a custodian. Not only have these mustaches joined that of Klimisch's against the blade, but the comradery in the entire school has heightened.

Klimisch shared, "It is so exciting to see how the kids have embraced this challenge! A parent told me her daughter wanted to race home from dance practice so she could get her reading time in. That's what it's all about-- kids reading. My own four kids have never seen their dad without a mustache, so it will be fun for everyone! What's next-- keep it off?-- grow it back?"

The staff of Stewart Elementary has planned events throughout the quarter to continue the excitement of "Shave or Save", encourage students and nurture a love of reading.

stewart elementary shave or save week 3

On Fridays, reading calendars of students who have read above and beyond 20 minutes a day are placed in a lottery. One top student reader from each grade is selected to have their picture taken with Klimisch and the other male staff while sporting their own mustache.

Planning a school-wide reading program like "Shave or Save," can be done at any school. The first thing to consider is what your niche is, and let the ideas flow. Previously at Stewart, the kids read enough books to make a bookworm go around the school, so Klimisch had to eat worms. And when Bergeson asked the kids to "Stick with Reading" they earned enough duct tape to stick her to the wall. It's important to remember is that it needs to engage everyone; students and staff both when they are at school and at home. For Stewart Elementary, including the family was very important. During second-quarter parent-teacher conferences, each family received a "Grab a Book, Grow a Mind" brochure sharing information about year round reading along with their child's first reading calendar. They have also made it a priority to include fun activities along the way to continue the excitement and motivation. Here are a few more activities Stewart Elementary is doing during the third quarter to continue in the fun:

  • During the kick-off assembly, Principal Klimisch told his students that he was born with his mustache. So it is a perfect fit that throughout the quarter Klimisch has visited each classroom to read "Mustache Baby" by Bridget Heos.
  • During the week before the Super Bowl, above and beyond readers were named Team Mustache.
  • All students and staff participate in school-wide Mustache D.E.A.R. time.
  • A friend of the school made t-shirts for the participants with a READ/mustache logo.
  • A "Match the Baby" display of the "Stewart mustache babies" donning mustaches is exhibited by the school office.
  • The class with the highest participation is going to receive a "stache bash" with mustache cookies and straws for their milk plus mustache games.
  • To celebrate Read Across America, the school has planned a family read-in.

What are the next steps for Stewart Elementary after the end of the third quarter? "We will definitely work to gear up for our second summer of Read! SD. The students who participate and read all summer, returning their calendars in the fall, will have their own Klimisch Kakes event," Bergeson said. The school has been celebrating attendance and the Box Top contest with these highly coveted pancakes. At the end of the second quarter, Klimish Kakes took on a whole new shape, a mustache.

Visit to learn more about year round reading and access resources for developing your own school-wide effort. If you would like to learn more about "Shave or Save" and how you can start a similar program in your school, contact Kathleen Bergeson,





21st Century, activities, awards, books, event, guidelines, listserv, National Library Week, Prairie Bud/ Prairie Pasque, programming, social media, SD Department of Education, staff, survey, Yankton

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