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Collection and Development Plan for Oglethorpe Point Elementary School s Media Center Tammy M. Stratton Georgia Southern University



The Collection and Development Plan for the Oglethorpe Point Elementary School s Media Center Site Description Oglethorpe Point Elementary School (OPES) is one of two elementary schools located on St. Simons Island, Georgia, which is home to approximately 14,700 people year-round, with the population soaring during the spring and summer months. The median income and age for an island resident is $83,820 and 46 years compared to the state average of $50,861 and 33 years of age. (Onboard Informatics, 2010). The school s 646 students, therefore, are predominately from middle to upper socioeconomic backgrounds. The student ethnicity make-up is:

Student Ethnicity

White Black Hispanic Asian

The building itself is approximately 15 years old, but feels and looks brand new due to excellent upkeep and continued involvement of parents and staff. The media center is located on the central hallway just down from the front office. The majority of the media center is visible to visitors, staff and students as they walk past. The media center itself is an open,



inviting environment utilizing a beach theme throughout. The students may lounge on the couch tucked into the reading nook or sit in an Adirondack chair painted Grinch-green beneath a huge beach umbrella. With beach towels and sand toys placed throughout, the media center is at once welcoming and whimsical. Two separate computer stations consisting of 20 computers share space with the teachers central printer, check-out area, media specialist and assistant s office, two news crew rooms, one storage room, 1000+ videos and 22,000+ books. OPES has an incredible book inventory showcasing many of the latest authors and genres like graphic novels, but it is also in need of intense weeding as the average age of the entire collection is 17 years! Despite the old age of the collection and its dire need of weeding, the media specialist does an excellent job ordering the latest titles and requests from students, parents and teachers. Daily parent volunteers assist with shelving and escorting small groups of Pre-k and Kindergarten children to the media center ensuring it s the busiest room in the building. Due to the heavy parental involvement, the PTA is also an immense asset to the school and, specifically, the media center. The book fairs earn a tremendous amount of money enabling the media specialist to buy extras like decorations, prizes to encourage clean accounts and several large book purchase orders a year. The PTA also purchased a new sound system and automatic projection screen for the gym and media center last year. They manage the Accelerated Reader Café, the AR store and AR points bulletin boards each month, which, considering the popularity of AR, is an astounding amount of work.



Learner Analysis OPES consistently makes or exceeds AYP standards every year and is one of the top performing elementary schools in Glynn County. The 79-member staff includes 49 full-time certified teachers; four of them teach 5th grade with one solely responsible for the 11 selfcontained EIP students. Of the 86 students in 5th grade, 23 participate in the gifted program, three require special needs services and four meet with the ELL teacher each day. When considering their STAR reading reports, the 5th graders rank from approximately the 3.6 to 7.6 reading level. Students at OPES have one teacher for both Science and Social Studies. They typically complete one unit of Science, for example, before switching to Social Studies. Units require from one to three weeks to complete, so the students may go a few weeks between Social Studies assignments. Because of the time restraints placed on these subjects, the teachers are realistic regarding what they can accomplish. The Social Studies teacher says he d like to involve the students in portfolio-type assignments and assessments, but admits that simply teaching the standards is challenging enough in his given time-frame. CURRICULUM REVIEW 5th grade is a vital year as students must pass the CRCT to move onto middle school; therefore much emphasis is placed on the Language Arts, Math and Science curriculum of the Georgia Performance Standards. Though also tested on the Social Studies GPS, the emphasis for the teachers and students is on the previously listed subjects. When student teaching at St.



Simons Elementary, the second elementary school on the island, 5th graders were taught Social
Studies for 45 minutes two days a week. It is eventually at middle school that Social Studies

assume its rightful place among vital subjects. Due to this seemingly lack of importance given to Social Studies scores on the CRCT, the media center collection, specifically the government selections, mirrors the inattentiveness. Georgia 5th graders are expected to master a number of Social Studies standards including: Government/Civic Understandings SS5CG1 The student will explain how a citizen s rights are protected under the U.S. Constitution. a. Explain the responsibilities of a citizen. b. Explain the freedoms granted and rights protected by the Bill of Rights. c. Explain the concept of due process of law and describe how the U.S. Constitution protects a citizen s rights by due process. SS5CG2 The student will explain the process by which amendments to the U.S. Constitution are made. a. Explain the amendment process outlined in the Constitution. b. Describe the purpose for the amendment process. SS5CG The student will explain how amendments to the U.S. Constitution have maintained a representative democracy. a. Explain the purpose of the 12th and 17th amendments. b. Explain how voting rights were protected by the 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th amendments. I chose these specific standards because for the two years I worked in the media center, I d have students flush with excitement ready to begin research on their chosen amendment



only to go away empty-handed the majority of the time. They couldn t wait to uncover their rights to Freedom of Speech or Unlawful Search and Seizure; I was continually amazed at their passion and desire to learn not only the amendments, but understand the relevance to their 10 and 11 year-old lives. Yet, as we searched through Destiny, clinging to hope with each click, we d soon discover the same, tired old books on George Washington or the U.S. Constitution that their older brothers and sisters used for their reports. The teachers agreed that the students looked forward to these Social Studies research activities, but complained about lack of resources. Though students are allowed access to various websites for research assistance, the students prefer coming to the media center in search of the right book. After reviewing the OPES media center s collection, it s only through sheer determination and fear of a bad grade that students uncovered plentiful information for their reports, much less interesting, inviting or relevant information. COLLECTION EVALUATION I worked as the assistant to the media specialist in the OPES media center for two years, so I ve had hands-on experience searching for materials based on the above GPS. But the first step, I decided, for an accurate evaluation was to perform a Destiny search. My initial search began with the United States Constitution followed by vote, citizen s rights, women s suffrage, amendments,

democracy, and any other term I could remotely think

of to elicit materials. In the end, I found 10 books with an average age of 19 years! The oldest title was published in 1969 with the most recent publication listed as 2002. I d also uncovered



16 VHS and Safari Montage videos, but they, too, had older publication dates that covered 1986 to 2004. Next, I visited the media center to either deny or substantiate my Destiny search findings. Reading from my printed list I searched the shelves, beginning with the 1985 edition of Voting and Elections in 324.9 FRA. Finding it proved easy as the library is nicely laid out, with sections and numbers clearly labeled. Actually, I located every copy on my list: from James Madison in 92 MAD (reading level 7.1) to the 1998 edition of The Constitution (reading level 4.5) in 973.3 QUI. I found it a dubious honor to locate all materials, as it substantiated my weak Destiny media search findings. The books themselves were in excellent condition, still containing the ancient check-out tags inside the back cover. In addition, aside from the American Girl series, I found no fiction books which fell within my chosen Georgia Performance Standards. I found the lack of resources, both fiction and non-fiction, bizarre considering the media center houses over 22,000 titles and OPES is such a high-performing school. Overall, though my chosen standards elicited abysmal materials, I felt an immense amount of freedom with my future collection development. Realistically, I could build a new foundational government collection. Because I had so little to work with, I decided to place my emphasis on relevant, interesting and current resources. For example, students at OPES, and most likely across the globe, love graphic novels, therefore I plan to order as many as I can locate in both English and Spanish. I plan to include many varied resources for special needs learners and differentiated learning such as audio books and large print books. My collection will include current resources and current technology like eBooks, with some traditional



elements like poster-size prints of the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Because of my passion for our U.S. Constitution and all that it symbolizes, especially in today s political environment, I am eager to begin my collection development.



References 2010 Onboard Informatics. Retrieved from