Media specialists have numerous and varied opportunities to work with staff and students in our schools and districts. We can also have opportunities to interact with community members and groups if we proactively seek them out and take advantage of the community connections presented to us. Community involvement can increase media program visibility and help develop support that can be very beneficial to our programs. Small districts may have a built-in community, and schools are often the focal point of community activity. But even larger districts have communities within the district. No matter how large or small, there are possibilities; the community may be an entire city or it may be a neighborhood, but involvement can bring positive results.
Community support and recognition of a need were contributing factors in our district's commitment to build a new media center for the high school and to provide funding for extensive collection improvement in the district. Parents and community members eagerly participated in planning the new media center and went on site visits to other schools. A core group of dedicated parents and one school board member formed a Friends of the Senior High Media Center group that helped weed the old collection. They sponsored an Adopt a Book program that raised money for new resources and increased visibility through an ongoing display, a school board presentation, articles in local news media, and they shared information about district media programs on the district-produced monthly television program. The Friends group might never have been organized without previous and conscious efforts to increase media-program visibility.
Outreach to Student Families
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