Patrick Robinson
Natalie Gelms, Children's Services Librarian at the High Point Branch of the Seattle Public Library spoke to students about the new books that were provided to the library as part of a grant by the Allen Foundation and a partnership between Roxhill, Sanislo Elementary and the Seattle Public Library

Roxhill Elementary celebrates partnership with Seattle Public Library and a grant for 500 new books

Family Literacy Night at Roxhill Elementary School on Jan. 14 was a night of pizza, reading and gratitude.

Natalie Gelms, Children's Services Librarian at the High Point Branch of the Seattle Public Library explained, "Seattle Public Library and Seattle Public Schools have partnered this year with a grant from the Allen Foundation and monies from the Seattle Public Library to figure out what we can do, when we do everything together. The first part of the grant was buying 500 books and materials for each of the two school libraries that are participating, Roxhill and Sanislo Elementary. They are narrative non-fiction titles that help with the common core standards, our new educational standards. They are meant to encourage kids to read non-fiction when they choose books instead of just choosing the new cool titles.

The other part of the grant is just figuring out what kind of partnerships and programs we can build between each other to make the public libraries and school libraries an integrated system for families. The goal is to make it normal for families to go from the school to the public library and from the public library to the school. Make those two libraries one unit."

Familes were able to attend two sessions at event, after a major pizza feed, one was in the library to explain about the grant and the other part involved bringing in other family literacy organizations where families could go to different stations around the school and see a presentation.

The event was hosted by the Family Engagement Action Team.

Roxhill Principal Sanhica Washington explained Marshall's Department Store's involvement in the evening. "They donated gifts for our students before the holiday season which we gave out. There were close to 400 toys donated and also provided food and gift baskets for us. We gave most of them out right before winter break. We wanted to honor the fact that different cultures don't celebrate Christmas so we weren't giving it to them as a Christmas gift but rather, 'This is an activity you can engage with over the break." It was amazing the quality of activities they provided and we definitely appreciated it.

We asked Marshalls to come to the event because the students had already received their activities so we wanted to appreciate them publicly at school.

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