Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie meets with young authors
At every grade level, Gordon students are immersed in literature – a pedagogy that develops exceptional reading, comprehension and language skills. It’s no wonder that the 24,000-volume library is a favorite campus space.
The library offers a comprehensive and diverse collection of age-appropriate literature and resources to help students pursue their natural curiosity, their quest for interesting reading, and their academic endeavors. The two-story facility includes a second floor designed exclusively for Middle School students and features one of the finest, most extensive collections of books for young adult readers in the area.
Students’ families are also welcome to borrow books. In addition to the main collection, the library has a rich and current selection of books on parenting and education.
Gordon’s youngest students are introduced to the joys of reading at weekly story times, where they learn about great authors, illustrators and poets. Lower and Middle School students find the library an important asset that supports their interests in reading and literature and offers help for increasingly sophisticated academic research projects and homework assignments. Students learn to access information through a state-of-the-art computer catalog system and selected online resources.
Gordon’s librarians are continually adding new books and programs that will continue to attract and inspire students and teachers. The collection includes books featuring many diverse cultures and traditions with the goal that all Gordon students will find books that reflect their background. The annual presentation of the Gordon School Multicultural Picture Book Award encourages students to develop standards for evaluating the books they read and enjoy.
The second floor of the library is reserved for the pre-teen and teen population of the Middle School students. Early Childhood and Lower School students must wait until fifth grade to enter the mezzanine and their first entry is seen as a rite of passage.
The first floor of the library contains a read-aloud area known as the story grove where Nursery through third grade meets for their library classes. The layout suggests a modest amphitheatre and is designed for close sharing of picture books, storytelling and shadow puppetry. Fourth graders use the brainstorming table for the acquisition of library skills. A space under the main staircase, affectionately known as the book nook, affords children a quiet and cozy reading area.
The picture book collection is predominantly housed in the story grove and it contains books that consistently affirm and support the developmental milestones of young children. For Nursery students, picture books offer an important transitional element from home to school while books for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners reflect a child’s growing awareness of his or herself in relation to the world. Emergent readers in Kindergarten and first grade are supported by the “I Can Read” and “Juvenile Fiction” holdings of the library while newly confident readers find fiction books for their reading pleasure in an area that houses longer chapter books. Non-fiction books for Nursery through fourth grade are housed on the first floor of the library and they see substantial use by all areas of the school. The bulk of the school’s reference books are also situated on this level as they provide easy physical access for the great number of walk-in inquiries from patrons.
The library serves as the hub for the annual visiting author program, which brings internationally known authors like Kwame Alexander and Julia Alvarez into classrooms to work with students.
The Battle of the Books, a fourth grade celebration of reading, is held every spring
The Battle list, consisting of thirty titles ranging in reading level and diversity of authors and characters, is given to fourth grade students in the fall.
The librarians, working with the homeroom teachers, will assist the students as they prepare for this exciting interscholastic literary event.