USD 457 administrators need to circulate more in the school district libraries (pun intended). An article in The Telegram on Wednesday outlined plans to eliminate the positions of 14 library paraprofessionals stating that those positions have the least impact on students.
Least impact? In the course of their workday, library paraprofessionals have direct contact with most of the students in the school building. As they man the circulation desk checking in and out the materials students choose, they interact with the students by name, reading interests and more.
At the school where I currently serve as librarian, we average 300-plus circulations daily. That is 300 times the library paraprofessional impacts students by checking materials out to them and calling them by name, giving them a smile and asking if they enjoyed the books they returned. Then, of course, there is the shelving of the 300 books brought back by those same 300 students when they choose new titles so that other students may check them out.
Beyond the services provided directly to students, these same paraprofessionals gather materials for the teaching staff, for interlibrary loan (impacting students and staff at other buildings) and serve the building in many other ways including at-risk tutoring, breakfast and lunch duties, and more as assigned by buildings.
By staffing the libraries with certified librarians and library paraprofessionals, students are provided an opportunity to learn skills in using library resources so that they may become the lifelong learners board goals define. While the librarian instructs, the paraprofessional keeps the circulation desk open and available to the rest of the student body and the teaching staff.
Least impact on students? Wrong target this time.
Fryman is a librarian at Victor Ornelas Elementary School.
Programs assist children, families
We all want children to be safe in our community and grow up to be productive and contributing members of society. While most kids in our state do have healthy childhood experiences, an increasing number of our children are exposed to intensive stress — such as child abuse and neglect — that can be devastating to child development. Abuse and neglect often have lifelong consequences for a child. Programs and strategies like home visiting, parent education, mental health services, availability of affordable day care and substance abuse treatment all aid its prevention — and we all play a role in ensuring these programs exist in our communities. As our nation recognizes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, our hope is for all individuals to play a role in making Kansas a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can strengthen families and the communities they live in. One simple, outward sign is to wear a blue ribbon on Tuesday, April 6, to support the City's proclamation declaring April as National Prevent Child Abuse Month in Garden City.
In addition, please wear a blue ribbon during the month of April to show your support of children and families in Finney County.
You can get your free ribbon, as well as learn more about prevention efforts, by visiting the Kansas Children's Service League's Web site at www.kcsl.org or calling the Parent Helpline at 1-800-CHILDREN.
Knoll is the development manager at Kansas Children's Service League.
Administrators should see cuts
We all read on nearly a daily basis about the school district and the cuts that it is going to make due to the budget cuts. We read about various positions and programs that will be cut or eliminated, but when are we going to read about some of the administrative positions that I am sure could be scaled back or possibly eliminated? Some of these positions are probably paid nearly twice as much or more than the positions that have been mentioned so far. I am not for anyone losing their job, but in these times I just think that it needs to be from the top to the bottom, not just the bottom as it seems right now.