Some Musings on Library & Technology at Little Flower Catholic School
In the library at Little Flower School the computers are all buzzing as students work on keyboarding skills. This is a busy Monday afternoon. The computers were used this morning for the first of the North Dakota State Assessments; now it is back to the regular daily schedule of research, keyboarding and reference work.
This is a busy library/computer lab for the small parish school that has been operating here in Rugby since 1942. The Church teaches moderation in all things this also applies to use of computers! Seeing the excitement on a student’s face when they find the right bit of information for their research or rejoicing with them when their name gets to the top of the list for a reserved library book is a joy. It is the little things in life that are so worthwhile. Today one child said, “I gave them 400 grains of rice. Is that a lot?” after spending the last few minutes of class on freerice.org, an organization which helps strengthen vocabulary and feeds hungry people at the same time. Before Fr. Tom Graner went to the seminary to prepare for the priesthood he earned an electronic engineering degree from UND and had his eye on a Silicon Valley position. Today he oversees the 30 computers used at Little Flower School.
The day-to-day fixes are taken care of by Sister Mary Ruth, a Franciscan Sister who has been on the staff at Little Flower for 4 years now. A “Jill-of-all trades” she earned a doctorate degree from NDSU in plant breeding. In the providence of God she is presently working at Little Flower while she pursues a Masters in theology online. She is also teaching religion classes at school and in the parish while occasionally helping out in the high school youth program. She is all over the place; look for her helping out again at the Sources of Strength Family Fun Night at the high school!
Another important aspect of the school is the library, the heart of the school! Though not centrally located it is abuzz with activity most of the day. Presently National Library Week is being celebrated. Fifth grade students reflected on the purpose of a library and created posters with pertinent quotes about libraries and reading that are displayed around the school. Sixth grade students will soon begin a general review of Internet safety and technology do’s and don’ts. The Kindles got a workout this year as the sixth graders used them for group reading several titles in their reading program. Third and fourth graders are continuing their path of reading through several genres of fiction books.
First and second graders are still excited about discovering all there is available in the school library, especially chapter books! And the kindergarten children are eager for the next story-time and ‘check-out’ session! Sister Jean Louise continues as certified teacher librarian, completing her 15th year at LFS. She is already planning ahead to do a thorough inventory this year-end. Recently the school community donated many, many books for the LeMar Nyonnie Foundation, which is helping to rebuild libraries in Liberia after their country’s 13-year civil war. Students and parishioners were generous in sharing, resulting in more than 21 boxes of books already packed for delivery in Bismarck.
Fifth grade students just arrived to work on a small-group project in spelling. So the days go on!
– Sr. Jean Louise
Little Flower School
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