Teacher Margaret's "View From My Window" - January 5th

probsting snowflakes


This past Monday faculty and staff gathered for our January in-service. The morning session was led by Errol Brudner with Stonegate Associates. Stonegate helped us update our Emergency Management Plan. Errol walked us through the updated plan. His particular focus was helping us understand current best practices in preventing and responding to emergencies.  In the afternoon Dr. Ali Michael, led a session focused on answering WFS teachers’ questions on building classrooms of belonging. In all of her work with teachers Ali’s working premise is that  “Race questions are not meant to lead us into a quagmire of guilt, discomfort, or isolation. Sustained race inquiry is meant to lead to anti-racist classrooms, positive racial identities, and a restoration of the wholeness of spirit and community that racism undermines.”

Books are a big part of children’s lives at Westfield. From Kindergarten to 5th grade, classroom libraries support our reading program. Over the past three years, teachers have curated their libraries to ensure they have fiction and nonfiction books representing the many identities and interests of all the children in the classroom. Additionally, these classroom libraries have books that support specific aspects of their curriculum, including mystery books in 3rd grade and books on the Antarctic in second grade.

Westfield’s school library concentrates on serving students from Preschool 2 to Second Grade. For our older students, we have found wonderful partners in the librarians at our local Cinnaminson Public Library. Students in Grades 3-8 make regular trips to that library, selecting books for fun and books that support their various research questions. 

When I arrived in 2019, the library, once a jewel in the school’s program, had been relegated to a few shelves in the basement. The collection was neglected and without a functioning catalog. The first step in the restoration included the decision to create the best collection possible for our younger students.  After weeding the collection of over 1500 outdated titles as well as books for middle grades, we began rebuilding the collection. The initial purchases included new fiction, poetry, and biography titles. We now have most of the American Library Association Award and Honor books for young readers from 2017 through to the present. This year we are beginning to add more high-quality non-fiction titles. To date, all of the fiction, biography, and poetry books have been added to our TinyCat electronic catalog. Of the 2100 books in the catalog so far, 340 of them were published after 2013. We want our library to foster in children a love for reading and for libraries. In all cases, we choose books that align with our mission and support our program.

I want to give a special shout-out to the dedicated folks who have helped breathe life into our school’s library. In the first two years, Parents and Guardians Council provided significant funding for rebuilding the collection. Our wonderful volunteers have provided untold hours cataloging, labeling, wrapping, and shelving the books. At library time, they select wonderful titles to read to the children. They help children select books to take home (Preschool children take books to their classroom). Since September 1st, 416 different titles have been checked out of the library! The total circulation for this time is 658 books.  The two most popular books so far have been Jennie Maizels’ Pop-Up London and Josh Funk’s Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast.




What We Are Reading

Featured in Our Library
Wolf in the Snow
by Matthew Cordell
wolf in the snow
Featured in Our Library
Knight Owl
by Christopher Dense
knight owl
Featured in Our Library

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth

by Alice Faye Duncan
opal lee
Favorites in Our Library
Pop-Up London
by Jennie Maizels
popup london
Favorites in Our Library
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
by Josh Funk
lady pancake and sir french toast
What I Am Reading

Cicely Tyson

Just As I Am: A Memoir
cicely tyson just as i am