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Rockwood Librarians Teach Students that Literacy Comes in Many Forms

Rockwood Librarians Teach Students that Literacy Comes in Many Forms

The school library is more than a place to check out books. Rockwood School District librarians reinforce that notion for their students by promoting and teaching literacy in its many forms throughout the course of a school year.

These literacies include traditional literacy -- reading and comprehension -- information literacy, media literacy, civic literacy, financial literacy, multicultural literacy, digital literacy, visual literacy and more.

Rockwood joins districts around the country in School Library Month during April and National Library Week from April 7-13, a time to celebrate the essential role that strong school libraries play in transforming learning.

At Ballwin Elementary, librarian Kristin Clark is teaching digital citizenship lessons to third-graders. Students learned about media literacy and why people alter certain images during a recent class period. They even analyzed some examples.

A Rockwood librarian leads students in a digital citizenship lesson in the school library.

“I think when students are introduced to digital citizenship concepts early, it helps them develop a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to navigate the online world responsibly, ethically and safely,” Clark said.

Alyssa, a third-grader, said the lesson helped her understand that not everything you see online is true.

“I learned that people can alter pictures to be creative,” she said. “In my group, we looked at photos to see if they were altered. We looked at them very hard with magnifying glasses. One of the pictures showed a dinosaur next to a bridge, which was not real because dinosaurs are extinct.”

Clark said her goal in teaching digital citizenship lessons is to expand on the types of literacies elementary-aged students are exposed to at school.

“I feel digital literacy and media literacy skills are important to teach to students,” she said. “During these digital citizenship lessons, students are engaged, they participate and have thoughtful contributions to our discussions, so I feel they are valuable to my instruction.”

A Rockwood student smiles as he participates in a visual literacy lesson in the school library.

At Westridge Elementary, librarian Anne Reed is in the midst of two different visual literacy projects with second- and third-graders. 

The school's third-graders are reading the story "Ten-Word Tiny Tales," writing and illustrating their own 10-word tale, then illustrating a classmate's tale as well. Second-graders are reading a biography of fashion designer Iris Apfel, then learning about patterns and other elements and designing their own clothing items.

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