Henrico County VA
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HCPS named National School Library Program of the Year

The Henrico County Public School system this week was named an American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 2011 National School Library Program of the Year (NSLPY) Award recipient.

Sponsored by Follett Library Resources, the NSLPY recognizes school library programs that meet the needs of the changing school and library environment and are fully integrated into the school's curriculum. Each recipient is recognized with a crystal obelisk and $10,000 for their school library program.

“Attention and advocacy are the areas that most represent this school district’s school library program,” explained Betty Marcoux, award committee chair. “Each librarian models his or her best in their school and is seen by other educators as bringing richness to what students and teachers can accomplish while learning.

“There is strong modeling among the librarians in this district, with engaging and non-threatening collaboration. They work together really well.”

Collaborative partnerships are the key to Henrico's program’s success, according to HCPS Educational Specialist in Library Services Ann M. Martin.

“Parents, central office personnel, school board members, feeder schools, and the business community are constituents that all have a stake in successful students,” Martin wrote in the HCPS application. “Our model is based on an all-inclusive approach, with students and staff at the center of the circle and each succeeding circle encompassing more of our stakeholders. When a library activity occurs, we include as many stakeholders as possible.”

Inside each of the schools, librarians are considered instructional leaders and serve on leadership, staff development and technology integration teams.

Teacher and librarian collaboration to merge content, technology and the AASL learning standards is encouraged by the school superintendent, according to Martin. A recently launched initiative, Henrico21, is designed to support effective instruction geared toward developing 21st-century learners.

School librarians partnered with instructional technology resource teachers, administrators and other school leaders to develop a rubric that focuses on the goals of student-driven inquiry, research, creativity, sharing and student growth.

“Our school librarians are a critical component of Henrico21,” wrote Dr. Patrick Russo, superintendent of schools. “Together with the staff at each school, school librarians serve as powerful leaders who are responsive to the needs of the learning community.”

HCPS is the sixth-largest school division in Virginia, with 69 schools and approximately 49,000 students. HCPS employs 82 full-time librarians, 39 full-time support staff and 34 part-time support staff.

The division and other AASL award recipients will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during ALA's 2011 Annual Conference in New Orleans June 27.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Learn more about letterboxing – part treasure hunt, art and exploration – from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Walkerton Tavern, 2892 Mountain Rd. All ages. Admission is free. For… Full text

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