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School libraries celebrated across P.E.I.


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Charlotte Bryand, principal of Glen Stewart Primary School in Stratford, is certainly in character as she reads the classic children's book “The Cat in the Hat” to students dressed as their favourite authors or book characters. From left are Alex Curran, Hudson Mullally, Bryand, Bryand, Clara Chaisson and Brooklyn MacKinnon. A number of Island libraries held special events to celebrate School Libraries Week, Oct. 17 to 21.

Glen Stewart principal Charlotte Bryand recently turned to a famous troublesome cat for inspiration in dressing for school on this particular day.

Bryand showed up at the primary school in Stratford donning a red and white-striped hat and a red bow tie like the tall anthropomorphic feline in the classic children’s book “The Cat in the Hat”.

Bryand has long made a point to make literature fun as well as educational for students.

She is the recipient of the 2016 P.E.I. Teacher-Librarian Administrator’s Award, which recognizes administrators who support and champion school libraries.

Bryand was lauded for her leadership in the rejuvenation of the school library program at Westwood Primary School.

So, not surprisingly, now as principal at Glen Stewart, she was doing her part recently to celebrate School Libraries Week.

Students and staff at Bryand’s school were encouraged to dress as their favourite book character or author.

Eight-year-old Alex Curran was transformed into a miniaturized Robert Munsch, the author of numerous popular children’s books.

Alex says he reads “pretty often’’ and finds fun in seeing how a story develops.

His favourite book is Munsch’s Smelly Socks.

Alex was joined by three fellow students also dressed with literary flare for Bryand’s impromptu reading of “The Cat in the Hat” in Glen Stewart’s open-air concept library that has considerable natural light streaming through high windows.

P.E.I. Teacher-Librarian Association president Carrie St. Jean said School Libraries Week, which ran from Oct. 17 to 21, is a time to celebrate libraries and teacher-librarians as important literacy partners in schools.

“We help children develop a love of reading and lifelong learning, which is fundamental to their success as engaged citizens,’’ she said.

“We support classroom teachers with resources that enrich their curriculum and help them support struggling readers by putting just the right book in their hands.’’

Although library resources are changing, St. Jean added, the mission of school libraries remains the same.

Teacher-librarians are leaders in the use of digital technologies. They help students learn independently by providing expert advice in locating and using high quality information, using safe and efficient online searching strategies.

Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie says the school library is the first library experience for many students, serving as a place where they learn to love reading, find and process information, and develop digital literacies.

“For teachers, these valuable assets offer a wealth of information to encourage inquiry-based learning and develop 21st century learners,’’ said Currie.

The education minister joined several guest readers, including local authors, in visiting school libraries on P.E.I. during the special week to read to children. A number of libraries also held contests and book/author trivia.

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