If you'd walked in an unused room in Lincoln School just a few months ago, you would have found a catch-all storage space. But thanks to the initiative of first-grade teacher Katie Rambacher and reading teacher Anastasia Swanson, Lincoln Elementary School teachers have a place to come and choose books for their classrooms. The new Reading Bookroom has hundreds of classroom books classified and labeled by district levels to help teachers find the right resources for their students.
Mrs. Rambacher, who also taught at Bush School, had seen Bush's Reading Bookroom and when K-8 Reading Coordinator Annette Miller and Principal Felix Muzza said they could use the room, Mrs. Rambacher and Miss Swanson jumped in full force, spending 100 to 150 volunteer hours since January to clean up and set up the new space for the beginning of the school year. Many other Lincoln Elementary School teachers shared some of their own books so that more resources could become available to benefit all students.
''Sometimes as a grade-level teacher you only have access to books in that grade level in your classroom but you may have a student that needs a higher- or lower-level book. The Reading Bookroom allows teachers to check out the appropriate book for their individual students,'' said the teachers. ''None of this would have happened without the generosity of the Lincoln School PTA. The group's financial support helped us to purchase all of the shelving and supplies, with room to grow. We are still writing more grants in the hope of expanding the book room with more titles.''
Lincoln Elementary School teachers Katie Rambacher and Anastasia Swanson show off their new bookroom.
The Reading Bookroom also gives Lincoln teachers a much wider variety of reading texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Mrs. Rambacher and Miss Swanson have also created a computer database with all the books so that teachers can search by level, author and subject matter to find exactly the right fit for their classroom needs. Students love variety and by sharing the Reading Bookroom, it allows for more diversity in teaching English Language Arts in all subject areas.
''The creation of the Reading Bookroom whole-heartedly supports the literacy requirements set forth in the Common Core Literacy Standards that were recently adopted by New York state,'' said Mrs. Miller. ''These standards require schools to improve literacy across all content areas using a variety of texts and increasing complexity. The Common Core Learning Standards call for small-group differentiated reading instruction as part of scientifically-based core reading program. The resources both Mrs. Rambacher and Mrs. Swanson have provided in the Lincoln School Bookroom will helps support all of these efforts."