Gale and Library Media Connection Announce Winners of the TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Sept. 15, 2009 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and Library Media Connection Magazine today announced the three winners of the TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement.

The winners are Stony Creek Elementary, Noblesville, Indiana; Raymond Park Middle School, Indianapolis, Indiana; and Waterford High School, Waterford, Ohio.

The TEAMS Award was created to recognize the critical collaboration between teachers and media specialists in promoting learning and increasing student achievement.  Nominations were evaluated based on:

  • Demonstrated collaboration between media specialists and teachers during the 2008/09 school  year
  • Effective techniques that positively impact student learning and achievement
  • Support received from school leadership
  • Ability for others to replicate this best practice

“We continue to be impressed with the strong submissions for the TEAMS Award,” said Marlene Woo-Lun, publisher of Library Media Connection.  “At a time when budgets are more limited than ever, today’s educators and  administrators are developing creative programs to educate students, exposing them to new ideas and ways of thinking.”

“The collaboration between media specialists and teachers on these projects is inspiring,” said Dave Schroeter, Gale’s vice president of K-12 /public library sales.  “We received applications from both rural and urban schools, large and small institutions, and across the board the projects exhibit commitment, creativity and dedication by the teachers and media specialists involved.”

The award includes $2,500 (U.S.) cash; Gale products; a one-year subscription to Library Media Connection; and an Educator’s Professional Bookshelf from Linworth Publishing valued at approximately $880.  In addition, the winners will be featured in an article in Library Media Connection in the 2009/10 school year. Awards will be presented at a special reception held in conjunction with the American Association of School Librarians Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Stony Creek Elementary

Media specialist Gwen Tetrick and first-grade teacher Karen Duvall were concerned that students did not practice reading outside of school and began a reading incentive program to lure reluctant readers to the joy of reading.  They used a Web site called Tumblebooks, featuring stories in a video format with text that is highlighted as a narrator reads the story.  The program could be accessed from home or school and students also came to the media center during lunchtime to watch the stories.  First through fourth-grade students participated in the program.  To encourage parental involvement, a parent or significant adult was invited to join each student for a special breakfast in the media center.

Tetrick and Duvall also wanted to motivate fourth graders to read longer books and created the Hoosier Book Club, which included book talks and hands-on activities.  The public library helped by holding monthly programs inviting each grade level to attend a story and craft program with their family. 

Raymond Park Middle School
During a three-week study on persuasive writing, seventh grade language arts teacher Nick Grayson and media specialist Tonya Martin sought to make this learning experience highly interactive.  The students participated in pre-writing activities and prepared presentations for a distance learning debate.   Some of the students also participated in a global warming art contest sponsored by the United Nations.

The distance learning session allowed students to ask questions of a professional who was knowledgeable about their topic.  Two high school classes from different regions, one in New York and one in Alberta, Canada, contributed different perspectives and offered suggestions for the presentations.  The seventh graders were fascinated by the perspectives of the older students and benefited from their suggestions.  After more research and fine-tuning, the distance learning debate was held with another class in Indianapolis.

Waterford High School
Library media specialist Carol Chase, English teacher Kelly Miller and business and technology teacher Roger French worked together to create “Beyond Boundaries: Student Activism from Waterford to the World” to educate students on global issues such as hunger, human rights and genocide.   Students were divided into groups and became “experts” on an assigned global issue and corresponding organization.  They researched their topics, created presentations and voted on which issue to persue. 

Students planned a fundraising activity to benefit Kids Against Hunger.  They also participated in teleconferencing with guest speakers involved with global issues including such topics as the global water crisis, human rights and global warming.  A “service fair” was also held, with 30 exhibitors from local, national and international organizations talking with students about their mission and opportunities for volunteers.

The following schools received honorable mentions in the TEAMS Award competition:

  • Bonnie Holland Elementary School, Katy, Texas
  • Willow Avenue Elementary School, Cornwall, New York
  • Ballenger Creek Middle School, Frederick, Maryland
  • Westlane Middle School, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Alpharetta High School, Alpharetta, Georgia
  • Spaulding High School, Barre, Vermont

For more information regarding the awards, visit www.galeschools.com/TEAMS or contact Linda Busse at [email protected].

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, libraries, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats.  For more information, visit www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.