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Local News

GA grade-school library embraces, teaches technology

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by Shanteya Hudson

As technology overtakes so many areas of life, one Georgia school is helping students cope by creating a nontraditional approach to its library program.

Amy Rubin, a librarian at Findley Oaks Elementary School in Fulton County, has worked over the past 10 years to evolve the library into a series of “stations” catering to children’s different skills and activities. She said the idea of her “makerspace” program is for students across all grade levels to develop skills applicable beyond the classroom.

“Makerspace is really a place in the school that all the grade levels are able to participate in to develop what I call the ‘four C’s,'” Rubin explained. “Communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking skills, which really are lifelong skills.”

Rubin pointed out the eight different stations cater to the students’ diverse interests, from origami to a “straws and connector” station, encouraging collaborative work. Most recently, they have added a podcast station, where she said children can have thoughtful discussions on books and character development themes like kindness.

Camille Christopher, principal at the school, said the library’s impact extends beyond the makerspace stations. She noted the librarians actively support teachers in the classroom, connecting their lessons with activities to encourage creativity and critical thinking. They also provide real-time instruction on research skills.

“They’re learning these things at a very young age,” Christopher emphasized. “I think that those are the types of skills that are just so important to be successful in a lot of areas, whether it’s through academics, whether it’s outside the school, or as they even get older and go into the workforce.”

She added they also focus on “digital citizenship,” teaching responsible use of technology, how to take care of digital devices and use them safely. The school also offers online resources for parents, to help them help their children in the digital age.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.