Gale and Library Media Connection magazine announce the three winners of the third annual TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement

Award Celebrates Critical Collaboration Between Libraries, Teachers

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Oct. 25,  2007 – Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and Library Media Connection magazine announce the three winners  of the third annual TEAMS Award — Teachers and Media Specialists Influencing Student Achievement.

The  winners are Big Shanty Elementary School in Kennesaw, Georgia; Dover  Air Base Middle School in Dover, Delaware; and Booker T. Washington  Senior High School in Miami, Florida.

Big Shanty Elementary School
Hundreds of students caught the  writing wave and celebrated the work of student authors at Big Shanty  Elementary School when fifth grade teacher Betsey Kennedy and media specialist  Barbara Powell-Schager created Authors’ Night.

Kennedy and Powell-Schager  collaborated throughout the year to create a school-wide community of writers.  Accomplishing this goal began with the  introduction of a monthly poetry contest.  Poetry readings on the school newscast encouraged students to  write thematic poems, and the winning poem was published in the school  newsletter.  As energy for writing grew  in the school, Big Shanty began promoting its annual writing fair. The large  number of entries that poured in proved that a spark for writing had been  ignited, and it was time to celebrate this newfound passion.

Dover Air Base Middle School
Through a project entitled Mathematical Nightmares,  English/Language Arts teacher Nelle Cox and library media specialist JoAnn  Reynolds instilled the notion that mathematical concepts can be extended  through literature for real life application, and students can communicate  mathematical theories using the writing process. 

Students read The Number Devil: A Mathematical  Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, which chronicles the nightmares of a  boy who has trouble understanding math concepts.  Each night, the Number Devil clarifies problems using real life  examples.  Students then chose their own  math concept and composed a “nightmare” using the book as a model.  The written responses were then made into a Web  page.

Booker T. Washington Senior High School
Student at Booker T. Washington  Senior High School participated in “Teen Expressions: Poetry from the Heart,” a  two hour poetry slam attended by the students’ peers, family, friends and  community members.  As a culmination of  a nine week research and writing project, two intensive reading classes planned  and implemented a poetry slam to showcase their original poetry.  They also faced a panel of judges as they  vied for prizes for best poem, best performance and best poetry collection.

The students involved in the  project were those whose classroom focus primarily had been on preparing for  the state standardized testing that takes place towards the end of the school  year.  Consequently, after the testing  is over, attendance and grades historically drop.  The goal of the project was not only to improve research/writing  skills, but to provide students with an enriching learning experience that  would motivate them to attend class and maintain or improve grades during the  last nine weeks of school.

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 2006/07 school  year
  • Effective  techniques that positively impact student learning and achievement
  • Support  received from school leadership
  • Ability  for others to replicate this best practice

For the third consecutive  year, the judges – seasoned Gale and Library  Media Connection staff – were encouraged by the number of entries, as  well as by the passion demonstrated in the collaborative projects submitted for  consideration.

“Once again, we had more  than 100 entries,” said Marlene Woo-Lun, TEAMS Award judge and president and  publisher of Library Media Connection.   “There were a very large number of strong  submissions, and selecting the winners was as difficult as it has ever  been.  Today’s educators and  administrators are doing amazing things to educate today’s students, in spite  of the challenges they face, financial and otherwise.”

“Collaboration is happening  in schools across the country,” said Dave Schroeter, Gale’s vice president of  K-12 sales.  “It didn’t matter if it was  a rural school or an urban school, a large school or a small school, an  elaborate project or a simple one, the commitment, dedication and  implementation by the teachers and media specialists was incredible.”

The award is comprised  of $2,500 (U.S.) cash; Gale products; a one-year subscription to Library Media Connection; and an  Educator’s Professional Bookshelf from Linworth Publishing.  In addition, the winners will be featured in  an article in Library Media Connection  in the 2007/08 school year.

Awards will be presented at a special reception held in conjunction with the  American Association of School Librarians Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada.

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

  • Chamberlin School
  • Concord High School
  • Dug Gap Elementary
  • Jefferson West High School
  • New Smyrna Beach Middle School
  • North Hunterdon High School

For more information,  please go to www.galeschools.com/TEAMS.

About Cengage Learning and Gale

Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, 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 – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm. For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.