As the 2014 school year is winding down, the media center hosted two culminating events for projects that started back in January: 6th grade Oceanography projects and the annual Troybery awards.
For the 6th grade research project, Mrs. Chatel worked with students through their Language Arts classes to teach them about research and citation skills. Students worked in groups to research about an ocean problem, and then they created a presentation where they offered a proposal of what we could do at Boulan to help save our oceans. The top 10 groups from all of the sixth grade classes presented in front of a panel of judges on March 27; Denise Fajardo and Sophia Yee were chosen as the winners.
In response to the growing problem of trash in our oceans, Denise and Sophia proposed that Boulan hold a water bottle recycling event. During lunch on May 13, Denise and Sophia collected water bottles from students and gave raffle tickets to those who brought in bottles. At the end of the day, they raffled off recyclable water bottle and reusable bags.
On Wednesday, May 21, Boulan Park students who had read all 10 Troybery books were treated to a pizza party by Mrs. Kwasny and Mrs. Chatel. Overall, there were 80 students who received this honor!
Thanks to a grant from the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Humanities Council, Meijer, and the Michigan Center for the Book, Boulan and Smith hosted local author Jean Alicia Elster on Friday, May 2.
Mrs. Elster's book, The Colored Car, was chosen by the Library of Michigan as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book. Sixth graders from Boulan and Smith were able to learn about Detroit history and about Mrs. Elster's family history through reading her book and through participating in her presentation. Also, the presentation was broadcast live to Baker and Larson Middle Schools, so students there could share in the experience.
Following the presentation in the morning, Boulan students who preordered the book were invited to a special "Lunch with the Author" in the media center. Ms. Johnson's Life Skills students made peanut butter and jelly popcorn for the students and Mrs. Elster to try, inspired by "Grandma Ford's Grape Jelly" recipe in the book.
At Smith, students who pre-ordered the book were invited to "Dessert with the Author," where they were able to get their book signed and ask Mrs. Elster questions about the book and her life as an author. Mrs. Webb's Life Skills classes made wonderful Grape Jelly Cookies for the dessert after they learned about the grape jelly recipe in the book.
Following dessert, Mrs. Elster gave her presentation to sixth graders at Smith. Students enjoyed interacting with Mrs. Elster, and all ten copies of her book at both Smith and Boulan have been checked out for weeks!
We are so appreciative of this opportunity afforded to us by the Library of Michigan, and we are grateful that Mrs. Elster was able to visit Boulan AND Smith, all in one day! Thanks as well to the parents and teachers who helped out at the events.
Mrs. Christina Chatel, MLIS
A teacher librarian at Boulan Park and Smith Middle Schools in Troy, Michigan.