News Release
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    May 14, 2004     
    Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations, (707) 664-2057


Lincoln Elementary's "Let's Fly to the Library" wins Jack London Award for Excellence

"Ben Levy and "Let's Fly to the Library" students, parents and librarian.""Volemos a la Biblioteca," or "Let's Fly to the Library," a program designed to boost family literacy among the students at Santa Rosa's Lincoln Elementary School, won top honors at the 2004 Jack London Awards for Educational Excellence presented at Sonoma State University this week.

"Volemos a la Biblioteca" is a program that has been in effect at Lincoln Elementary since 2002 in a district that is almost 80% Hispanic.

Teachers at Lincoln realized that many students' families did not have the financial means to build a diverse and extensive home library and their only form of home entertainment was television.

Teacher Ben Levy figured the natural solution to this predicament was visits to the public library. "Volemos a la Biblioteca" was designed to get students and their families involved in regular visits to the library and promote reading and library use to students and their parents.

When families participate in "Volemos a la Biblioteca, " each Lincoln School child receives a Sonoma County library card, a free book bag, and a book. Lincoln School teachers accompany families to the library in order to familiarize them with the institution.

Stories are read aloud in English and Spanish to the assembled guests, and it is expected that families will go to the library every three weeks. Transportation via school bus is available for families who cannot travel to the library through their own means.

The program has had amazing results, says Levy, who reports that library card ownership at Lincoln School has grown from 14 percent to 90 percent, there has been a dramatic increase in the circulation of Spanish-language material and attendance at library activities, and many students are showing a greater enthusiasm in reading. Parents of these students are also browsing the shelves for literature of their own interest.

Other nominees for this year's awards were: "Language of Art," Jamie Duncan, Sequoia Elementary School; "Sixth Grade Speech Tournament, " Mary Lee Jones, Sequoia Elementary School; "Second Grade Jack London Program," Ethel Todson, Paula Lely, and Roberta Trevino, Prestwood School; and "Peer Literacy Coaching," Jennifer Fleischer, Kirsten Searby, and Chris White, Elsie Allen High School.

The Jack London Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding K-12 programs and those involves with them. It is sponsored by Sonoma State University; the California Faculty Association; the California Teachers Association; Norman Knodt, Financial Network Investment Corp. and the Sonoma County Office of Education. SSU faculty and staff, with community and educational leaders, serve as judges for the awards program.

CAPTION: Ben Levy (left, back row) and "Let's Fly to the Library" students, parents and librarian.


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Last Modified: 05/13/2004