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

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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