SAN ELIZARIO – The pride and involvement of the Ann M. Garcia Enriquez Middle School (GEMS) Eagles continue to persevere. Last year, the Library Club managed to keep going with the encouragement of Librarian Ms. Idania Rodarte. This school year is no exception, and the Library Club continues to find innovative ways to be involved.
Librarian Rodarte started a library club in 2007 during her tenure at Alarcon Elementary School and continued the club at GEMS when she began there in 2013. The GEMS Library Club has approximately 20 active members. While there are no requirements to be a member of the Library Club, students can join through a reference from the school counselor.
Library Club members understand the importance of being involved and promoting literacy in the community. Librarian Rodarte states, "As educators, it is our responsibility to meet our students' emotional needs. The Library Club has students express themselves, build relationships, and enjoy literacy." The overall purpose of the Library Club is to provide a safe learning environment where students can flourish in reading, sharing ideas, and developing creative skills.
The students in the Library Club grew into positive leaders during the virtual setting. Since beginning school in person, library club members can engage face to face with their peers. Whether they help with monthly literacy meetings on their own time, lead breakout rooms in literacy fairs, or read to elementary students, they do so with a genuine smile. Rodarte reiterates, "Library Club students have gained the confidence to be future-ready and are true GEMS that shine bright!" Librarian Rodarte says, "We are a club that embraces reading and each other's differences."
Library club members meet regularly to participate in independent reading, book talks with the librarian, art such as making stickers, free drawing, origami, and social-emotional learning through card games, Jenga, building blocks, Monopoly, and puzzles. Librarian Rodarte states, "Students participate in activities that help boost their confidence and empower them to do anything their hearts desire."
Students in the GEMS Library Club also help plan literacy events/projects, such as Poetry Month, Scholastic Book Fairs, the Family Literacy Fair, the San Elizario Comic-Con, and book displays.