Read Across America Week, celebrated March 2-6, 2023, is a national celebration of the love and joy of reading. In honor of Read Across America, we’re spotlighting our media specialists across the network.
LEAD Cameron and LEAD Academy Media Specialist Jane Steffen sees how connecting students through the library expands their way of thinking.
Steffen was a yoga instructor, corporate sales, and even a cooking class teacher before she became a librarian. Steffen recently decided to pursue a career in education, specifically as a media specialist, because she knows the importance of connection through storytelling and books.
“Libraries aren’t book warehouses,” said Braun. “They’re centers for sharing ideas, information, and stories. It’s important that children learn this, because creating those connections builds confidence and trust between individuals and communities. That’s an essential education need and one I feel I can help with.”
Steffen hopes that her students can find hope in the books they read.
“If I can help them learn how to feel hopeful by giving them stories of people like them who have overcome tremendous hardships or failed repeatedly and then succeeded, maybe they’ll make the connection to their backgrounds,” she said. “That’s one thing I truly value about the LEAD family. The way LEADers guide students towards individual goals allows them to focus on their growth and progress.”
In honor of Read Across America Week, Steffen has come up with some fun ideas to encourage participation. She has created book related games like “Would You Rather” and “Never Have I Ever” during the morning announcements for the middle school students, and a special book display highlighting Women’s History Month for the entire school.
She also plans to launch lunchtime trivia for interested high school students and staff on Fridays to encourage some friendly competition.