Senator Steve Saland, Chairman of the New York State Senate Education Committee, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education, and media company, and the New York Library Association teamed up today, in honor of National Library Week, to raise awareness about the role school libraries play in student achievement and the importance of access to books for all children.
Senator Saland read an excerpt from The Kid Who Became President to fourth graders at Poughkeepsie’s G.W. Krieger Elementary School, and Scholastic and the New York Library Association donated a book to each of the more than five hundred students in the school to enhance his or her own personal library.
"Along with our homes and schools, libraries provide a strong foundation for learning in our communities," said Senator Steve Saland. "As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, I am extremely pleased to have led the fight to increase funding to libraries and as a result, helped secure $2,265,332 in the 2006-07 state budget for the Mid-Hudson Public Library System. For many years to come, students and adults who utilize the 22 libraries in Dutchess County will reap the benefits from these centers of lifelong learning," said Senator Saland.
"School libraries and equal access to quality books can give children the opportunity to become better readers, successful students, and passionate learners." said Greg Worrell, President of Scholastic Library Publishing. "Scholastic is proud to join Senator Saland and the New York Library Association in promoting the important role quality libraries play in student achievement."
"Senator Saland and his colleagues in the Legislature have recognized the important roles libraries play in educating people of all ages by including a record $20 million increase in Library Aid in the recently passed 2006-07 state Budget.As a result, library users in New York can truly celebrate National Library Week this year," stated Michael J. Borges, Executive Director of the New York Library Association.
Research shows that school libraries can be a major factor in helping to bridge the educational gap. Library media centers with up-to-date books and resources and highly trained librarians are essential to providing all children with quality tools to help them learn. Studies show a clear connection between school libraries staffed by qualified librarians and increased student achievement, student literacy, and quality of teaching.