District School Chancellor Kaya Henderson recently announced a task force aimed at broadening students' access to reading while strengthening support of school libraries.
The District of Columbia Public Schools Library Task Force, which just held its first meeting, will make recommendations for possible implementation during the 2013-14 school year.
During a forum this past July at Luke C. Moore High School in Northeast, Henderson was taken to task over a lack libraries in schools. She indicated at the time that she would look into the matter.
"We know how absolutely fundamental reading is to our students' success," said Henderson. "School libraries can be a critical resource, one that we can better utilize to support the goals we've set in A Capital Commitment and other core academic work. We'll look to this task force to identify where we can make school library improvements across the District."
The 18-member task force was selected and appointed by Henderson and its members include chairs Barbara Stripling, Ph.D. and Carey Wright, Ph.D. Other members include DCPS principals, instructional superintendents, teachers, library media specialists, parents and community members,
The task force's work is slated for completion and delivery to Henderson by mid-December. Its duties include evaluation of school libraries and library programs, developing recommendations to improve the quality of both and to and recommend any voluntary/community-based strategies designed to increase and improve school libraries, library programs and collection development.
The complete list of task force members are:
• Pete Cahall, Principal, Wilson HS
• Karen Cowden, Library Media Specialist, Hyde-Addison ES
• Sirraya Gant, Parent, Woodson HS
• Errick Greene, DCPS Instructional Superintendent
• Angie Halamandaris, President and co-founder, Heart of America Foundation
• Clarence Humes, Principal, Sousa MS
• Melissa Jackson, Library Media Specialist, Ballou HS
• Eva Poole, Chief of Staff, DC Public Library
• Sharona Robinson, Parent and PTSA President, Ballou HS
• David Rose, DCPS Director, Education Technology
• Tracy Sheard-Wilson, Library Media Specialist, J.O. Wilson ES
• Barbara Stripling, Assistant Professor of Practice, Syracuse University and President-elect, American Library Association
• GeLynn Thompson, Teacher, Randle Highlands ES
• Gayle Watts, Teacher, Burroughs EC
• Ann Weeks, Associate Dean, Academic Programs, University of MD College of Information Studies
• Suzanne Wells, Parent and Founder, Capitol Hill Public Schools Parents Organization
• Carey Wright, DCPS Chief Academic Officer
• Stephen Zagami, DCPS Instructional Superintendent