While the ending in many books can sometimes be the most exciting part, who's to say the bookends themselves can't play a significant role as well?
To help show off their creativity to reflect a literary theme, school districts within the Erie 2-Chautauqua -Cattaraugus BOCES participated in the fifth annual Book Ending Excitement Exhibit. More than 12 districts took a set of rusty old bookends and transformed them into an addition of the books they held; from castles to wooded cottages, each had a unique theme.
"In some way, shape or form students have been involved, with the design, as a class, they do the layout work, and they come up with the unit that they've done," School Library System Coordinator Sue Bartle said of the designs. "It's a green, unique, unusual project that we started. Every year we add a different element to it."
Last year, Bartle said, the event added an author visit. This year featured speaker, beloved children's author Steven Kellogg who is known for such works as "Pinkerton, Behave!" and "The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash" spoke before a handful of children from the SUNY Fredonia Campus and Community Children's Center.
"I tell them a fair amount about my work as an author and illustrator," Kellogg, who has been writing and illustrating children's books for the past 40 years, said. "And massage the fact that they too are authors and illustrators and that by nurturing the storyteller in each one of them they enhance their communication skills and develop their verbal abilities and also their reading comprehension. Books can be a great deal of fun so I emphasize that as well."
Kellogg spoke passionately about his works and brought some familiar faces to the blank pages before him to help tell his stories to the children. When asked prior to the start of the presentation, Kellogg shared his thoughts on the difficult budgets that schools have been dealing with.
OBSERVER Photo By Michael Rukavina
Beloved children's author Steven Kellogg stands next to his created characters 'Pinkerton' and 'Secondhand Rose,' and before an audience of children from the SUNY Fredonia Campus and Community Center as part of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES 'Book Ending Exhibit.'
"I feel the library system in this country, both the school and public libraries, is one of the crown jewels of our educational system. There's nothing to equal it in countries around the world and I think it's one of the reasons that American's have been such leaders in many aspects of the field of education," he said. "We have a fairly literate population which we need in this country and in all countries, but we really thrive on the fact that decisions are made by a population that is well-educated and well-read and can think clearly, and libraries are a very important part of that process."
Also prior to the presentation, Bartle was tallying the results from the bookend contest. Five judges for the event were: Public Relations Jennifer Osborne-Coy; Receptionist Sandra Barras; Dub Center Operator Larry Jankowski; Alt. Ed Teacher Jill Patterson; and CTE Program Academic Liason Lee Ann Talbot.
They judged the bookends on seven different categories with prizes for each. Best in Show receives $500 for books for their library; Best Elementary School entry, Best Middle School entry, Best High School entry, Best Use of Color, Most Unique, Best Selection of Books to Fit Theme and Best Faculty entry each receive $200 for their schools library collection. Just for entering schools receive $50 towards books. The winner also receives a set of golden book ends. The funds were granted through the funding mechanism for the School Library System.
"It goes through my service which is the School Library System, and I work with all 27 districts. I'm a unique program in the BOCES because everyone belongs to my program, it's a state funded program," Bartle explained. "We try and have some programming where we can have some creative participation, some literacy, just something to really elevate the interest and literacy and books and materials. And this also gives the librarians a chance to work towards getting some books for their library."
Bartle said the event began in an interesting way. After receiving some old book ends from a retiring librarian at Orchard Park, Bartle eventually learned of a good use for them.
"I went to a national conference and one of the other librarians from our area who went said they saw an event where a Catholic school had a cake contest with a theme each year and each were auctioned off to raise money for the library," she said. "I thought we could take the rusty book ends and do the same thing but just have a re-purpose because they do eventually get rusty. We're getting to the point where we have to ask people if they have any rusty book ends because we're in our fifth year."
Districts who participated in the event were Dunkirk, Pine Valley, Holland, Sherman, Silver Creek, North Collins, Cassadaga Valley and Sinclairville, Westfield, Eden, Gowanda, Clymer, and Jamestown. Students in grades K through 12 help out with the projects. To view video and pictures of the entire collection of created bookends please visit www.observertoday.com
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