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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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