08/19/2019
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Schools across North Carolina this month are celebrating National School Library Month to highlight the critical importance of school library media centers and their specialists to enrich student learning.The State Board of Education at its April meeting endorsed a proclamation recognizing the key role of school media centers play in supporting all students with a wealth of print and digital resources and instruction to develop literacy and help students access, evaluate and use information.

 “The school library media center is certainly a place that serves as a safe haven for many students in our schools,” Deputy State Superintendent Maria Pitre-Martin told board members.

 Crystal Joyce, the school library media coordinator for Old Richmond Elementary School in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth school district, called attention to the connection between strong media centers and student learning.

 “The highest achieving students do attend schools with well-staffed and well-funded school libraries,” Joyce said, and that students nationwide make nearly 1.3 billion visits during the school year – four times the numbers of visitors to U.S. national parks. But the downside is that cutbacks in school librarians may be yielding unintended consequences,” she said. Research by Stanford University, she said, “found that more than 80 percent of middle school students cannot tell the difference between sponsored content and real news.”

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