Sunday, February 5, 2012

COMMENTARY: Never Eighteen Pass it On (Part 2)

Several months ago, I was honored to be offered the opportunity by author Megan Messina Bostic to read and pass on her debut, Never Eighteen. Attached is my first blog entry describing my choice, St Michael Indian School in AZ. I chose this group because of their Christmas Wish List on Amazon.

Never Eighteen Project

Below is a letter I received from Melissa Coles, the School Librarian in response to receiving the book:

Dear Becky,

As I said in my last email: we received Never Eighteen! Thank you for thinking to make us part of Pass It On. The book is being placed among the other new books we have- these are hot commodities in our library now, so I'm sure it will be checked out soon!

Here is a little about our school: located in Saint Michaels, AZ on the Navajo Reservation, the Saint Michael Indian School contains grades K-12. Saint Michael Indian School was founded in 1902 by Mother Katherine Drexel of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament; today, the Sisters still run the school. Our mission statement is as follows: St. Michael Indian School provides students from local Native American communities with a quality education that is rooted in Catholic values, is sensitive to Native heritage, teaches leadership skills, and enables students to contribute in a culturally diverse world. The school's website is . We strive to provide our students with the best education they could have, preparing them for life after graduation.

As a part of that, I am the high school librarian. This is my first year at Saint Michaels, and when I arrived, I was shocked by the size and state of our library. Our library was tiny, out-dated, and unordered. Over the past months, I have worked to put our library into order and get the students interested in reading again. When I arrived, no one ever came into the library: why would they when it was never open because there was no librarian? One main way I have drawn interest back to reading is through getting new, up-to-date books in our library for all sections- teen fiction to nonfiction. This is still definitely a work in progress, but December saw some fruits of my labors: we received large donations from a non-profit and from an Amazon wish list I created for our library. As I said, we need books for each section in the library, but I am especially focusing on teen fiction to raise reading interest. Many of the books placed on the Amazon wish list were requested specifically by students. As we discussed, any additional help you could provide would be fantastic! You donating from the wish list and donating Never Eighteen are already great helps. The main thing for me is to show the students that reading is fun, informative, and necessary, and that, if you put hard work into something, you can accomplish your goal! Many did not want to put books down on our wish list because "we'll never get them." Now, people are coming into the library every day to add books. Excitement is in the air, and you are a part of that. Thank you!

Here's a before photo of the library. What's missing here?  Organization and students! 

Melissa realized the kids weren't getting the books they wanted to read. So she encouraged them to put together an Wish List. Here's Melissa with just some of the books they've gotten:

And here come the students. You're seeing wishes come true here:

And yes, the students are excited about receiving Never Eighteen: 

Just one more:

If you're interested in adding books to this wonderful organization, please contact:

   Melissa Coles
   High School Library
   Saint Michael Indian School
   PO Box 650 
   St. Michaels, Arizona 86511

Special thanks to: Megan Messina Bostic for donating Never Eighteen for this project and Melissa Coles for letter and photography of her students and library.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, February 2012

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for doing this, Becky! You're helping our library to grow and shine!