Every year, Northside ISD ESL teacher Kelly Allen coordinates a Saturday Field Trip to a San Antonio Public Library for her Glenoaks Elementary third graders. She works in conjunction with the school librarian, Linda Moore, and a city librarian, Gladis Martinez, to make this special day at the Forest Hills Public Library a reality.
For a third year in a row, Mrs. Allen invited her students and their parents to visit and become patrons of the San Antonio Public Library. Many of the parents and children have never set foot in a public library before, let alone become patrons, so as part of the day’s experience Allen helps them navigate through membership requirements and responsibilities. If parents are unable to attend the Saturday Field Trip, Mrs. Allen will transport those students with their completed membership forms so that the students can experience the library, become patrons, and leave with an armful of books.
Mrs. Allen recognized early on that students and families could become more active learners by taking advantage of the resources available at the library. Enabling broader access to free books, videos, computers, summer reading programs, arts and crafts, and parental involvement resources is a passion that Allen embraces in her classroom, and former students have mentioned that they continue to visit the library with their parents and speak often of checking out books and reading at home.
Allen’s expectation of her students is for them to master grade level reading requirements. Because of her efforts, many of her ESL students' reading levels have increased to grade level and beyond, while others who came in far behind have shown significant progress. Mrs. Allen attributes these gains to family literacy activities and the shared ownership of learning between the parent and child. The San Antonio Public Library visits play a small, yet integral, part in improving family literacy and increasing the love of reading. #IAmTXEd Northside ISD