on Thursday, September 18, 2008. Evelyn Morris King and Councilman McMahon, our honored guests, participated in this wonderful ceremony by cutting the red ribbon kicking off the official opening for our staff and students.
Musical entertainment was provided by the Dreyfus Band, while students shared original poety. A great time was had by all.
New library is like a fairy tale with a happy ending
Dreyfus Intermediate School study spot now features 25,000 books, computers and sturdy tables and chairs
Thursday, October 16, 2008
By TEVAH PLATT
ADVANCE STAFF WRITER
STATEN ISLAND, NY -- STAPLETON -- Bookworms aren't born; they're created by really great libraries.
And the new Evelyn King library at Dreyfus Intermediate School is poised to turn a lot of kids into committed readers.
Students walked into the transformed wing of their school this semester and discovered a warm and welcoming space, as inviting as a beautifully illustrated picture book.
This is a tale in the making that has all the right elements.
The setting: A large open space with pistachio and rosy apple-colored walls, tidy new shelves, new flooring and lights, and student artwork all about.
The plot: A passionate principal, a local politician and school staff who secured funds and grants to make a messy, under-used space into a great student resource.
The happy ending: The middle schoolers have a new computer center, a section of graphic novels and 25,000 new books on tantalizing topics -- everything from robots and microbes to boyfriends, giant squids, and ancient civilizations.
The Dreyfus librarian, Barbara Rodden, keeps a scrapbook behind her brand new desk, filled with before and after photographs.
In its previous incarnation, the library was filled with disorganized, half-empty shelves. What resources there were were yellowing and outdated. Some of the history books contained maps dating back to the Cold War and presidential histories culminated with Ronald Reagan, at best. The tables were wobbly. Understandably, the space was barely used, Mrs. Rodden said.
A grant for new books and $500,000 in funds from Councilman Michael McMahon (D-North Shore) led to the recent dedication of the new Evelyn King library, named for a community leader and Dreyfus teacher emerita.
"It's made a world of difference," said the librarian. "When students come in here, they want to feel inspired, you know, they want to learn."
Literacy coach Madalaina Vellucci agreed: "You can see the motivation in their eyes when they walk in."
Students use the library after school and classes meet there five periods a day to work on special projects such as the school's poetry jam, spelling bees and science assignments.
With the new space ready to serve and inspire students, the school is now looking to expand its book collection.