York Chester Middle School is central to our community and serves a wonderful bunch of 6th-8th graders. As a Title 1 school with 100% of our students receiving free or reduced lunch, our library is being revamped as the hub of our school to offer both students and parents access to technology, informational literacy, and hopefully more and higher quality books!
Our state test scores in all subjects are low, but improving each year. In order to help support that growth, students need access to wide variety of texts at their reading level. The only way to become a better reader is to read books independently and to read them often! Reading is part of math, science, and social studies tests, as well, so the more students read, the more we’ll see scores grow all around. Having books for every child is key.
Too many times a day I have to tell students we don’t have any books on a topic they are interested in, that we are missing books from the series they want to read, or the only book they are interested in is not even close to their fast, fun, and easy reading level. Our library is small and lacking in what our student population most needs. Our collection averages over 18 years old and it shows.
We have a great public library system here in Gaston County, but many of our students don’t have easy access to their services. As a school in which many students live within walking or biking distance, having books students want and need at their fingertips provides them access that they would not have otherwise.
Every student deserves a library full of up-to-date, award-winning books each and every year. Help me close the gap in access to quality books here at York Chester and move our students a little closer toward an even playing field for their future! – Faith Howell, York Chester Middle School Librarian