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MAR.1, 2024—There’s a saying about how books can take someone to a different world. For one Intermediate School class, books are taking their students to the future.

Since 2018, once a week, Ms. Gubiotti’s fourth-grade class steps out of the classroom, and steps into lessons at the Macedon Public Library.

Gubiotti says the main idea of the partnership is to develop a “culture of reading” for her students. She added that while the school’s library has a good book selection, the Macedon library offers a bit more variety.

“Learning happens everywhere, not just in a classroom,” Gubiotti said. “A library is a great place for that.”

We had a chance to shadow a recent trip to the library. The building is all of a five-minute walk from the Intermediate School across the adjoining parking lots.

Students brought along books to return, with each student carrying the books in a plastic cubby. 

The library specifically opens an hour earlier when the class comes through, and the first stop at the door is to the return desk to drop off their books. 

But this partnership goes beyond book returns.

Students start the day with a lesson in the community room. The lessons are usually tied to a specific book or topic. Some lessons can be more hands on, with topics including how to code for a website.

On the day we went, the topic of the day was deep thinking, and precise explaining. Students first had to define what “precise” meant, and then they broke down statements from a book and voted on how precise those statements were.

 

CLICK HERE: PHOTO GALLERY- 4TH GRADERS AT THE MACEDON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Gubiotti says the purpose of these exercises is for students to not only understand what they’re reading but also be able to communicate their thoughts effectively.

After finishing their work, it was book finding time.

Library Director Stacey Wicksall says students are sometimes instructed to find books on a particular topic or genre. That doesn’t mean they can’t choose books that appeal to their reading interests, though. 

“I think this freedom to choose is so important when trying to cultivate children who become lifelong readers,” Wicksall said. 

We spoke to Caleb, who had just picked up a book on pirates. He said he typically enjoys reading about history.

“There’s more books to read and you get a lot of time here and you can check out a lot of really fun books,” Caleb said.

In addition to finding a book the old-fashioned way, the library offers up its digital catalog to search for a specific book. The idea is to get the students familiar with both systems.

 

As mentioned earlier, this is all an effort to create lifelong readers. But what exactly does that mean?

Wicksall and Gubiotti said they want students to be comfortable with reading and adapting technology. The library assists with both of those goals. Wicksall added that strengthening both a love for reading, and understanding of technology, can have residual benefits when students grow up.

“Having a partnership that inspires kids to read more means they will be more apt to achieve more in their personal lives,” Wicksall said. “ When that happens, we make a stronger community for all."

Wicksall says it was Gubiotti who first approached her about partnering up following an initial communication about book requests.

While there may be more practical purposes for the partnership, Gubiotti says the library can simply be a place for students to have fun. She mentioned the library staff’s inviting, community-focused attitudes.

“Students can say I belong here, I fit in here,” Gubiotti said. “When kids go to the library, that’s something they remember.”

And it’s something Wicksall says has sparked student interest outside of class. She says the library is seeing a rise in visits from Intermediate and Primary School-aged children. Their circulation of children's books has steadily increased, and juvenile titles increased by 6.3% in 2023.

“I do think part of that is a direct result of [Mrs. Gubbiotti] developing this culture of reading in her kids,” Wicksall said.

As for other classes taking part in similar partnerships, Wicksall says the library will welcome other interested classrooms. 

 

 

  • Palmyra-Macedon CSD
  • Palmyra-Macedon Intermediate School

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