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Harrison L. Caldwell Library

Purpose Statement


"The 21st Century library is the beating heart of a successful school, supporting students, staff and academic standards. A strong library program also embraces the Seattle Public School's Strategic Plan (2008), providing equal access to excellence for every student in our schools.

As an essential part of the instructional team, the teacher-librarian

  • establishes the central role of reading as the foundation of academic success
  • creates a culture of celebrating literacy throughout the school
  • collaborates with staff while delivering instruction to support curriculum standards and student achievement
  • teaches information skills that promote lifelong learning"


(The above statement is part of the Seattle Public Schools Library Curriculum document-2008)

 

Who Was Harrison L. Caldwell? 


Harrison L. Caldwell was the principal of Roxhill when the school opened its doors in 1958. This fact alone makes him worthy of notice. But the adjective “first” had another application for Mr. Caldwell, one that makes him worthy of notice in Seattle Public School History and perhaps that of the entire country. Mr. Harrison Caldwell was the first African American principal of a school in Seattle Public Schools. He may also have been the first African American to become principal of an all white school in the entire country. An article in the Seattle Times article in 1958 writes “ Caldwell, 48 believes he is the nation's only Negro principal of an all-white school. …'This is democracy in action,' said the tall, broad-shouldered principal.” The article went on to describe a man well-loved by the teachers, parents and students of Roxhill. “I think the people of the Roxhill area want someone who is interested in the welfare of their children. I don't think they are concerned with the color of his skin,” commented Caldwell . Mr. Caldwell was recruited to come to Seattle after serving as a school administrator in Topeka , Kansas . When Caldwell spoke about the Roxhill community of 1958, he might as easily have been speaking about Roxhill 50 years later: “Roxhill is a living example of how people can get along. It can be done—it is being done.”



Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award

For the past 20 years (or so!) Roxhill has participated in the Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award Program. Librarians all over Washington State nominate recently published picture books to be on the year’s list. This list is different from other “favorite” lists in one important way. The books on the list are books that students love. (Parents and teachers may also love them , but the important thing about them is that children love them!) At Roxhill, all classes from grades K-3 are involved in the program. Teachers  read  and discuss the stories with their students through Fall and Spring, checking off the titles as they read them. In late March each class will vote on their favorite book during library class. Ms. Bliquez emails Roxhill’s votes  to Selah, Washington, to be counted with all the votes of K-3 students statewide. We always wait anxiously for the state vote totals to be announced, wondering if the Roxhill winner will also be the Washington State winner.


Curriculum by Grade Level

Kindergarten

 

     The student work you see above is a little window into a typical kindergarten library class. This Roxhill kindergartner was responding to the old Russian Folktale, “The Turnip.”  This story starts with the grandfather trying to pull out the turnip; he is joined , one by one, by five “friends,” each one smaller than the previous one—ending with the smallest creature, the mouse. It’s only when the mouse joins the “friends” that they are able to pull out the turnip. I love doing this story with kindergartners! How great a story for our youngest students; they are the smallest in the school and they too are important. We experience the story in several different ways: first through a flannel board telling, then through a nesting doll telling, and finally by acting it out. By that time students are ready to do the wonderful artwork you see above to retell the story for themselves!

Autism Classes














A Busy Year
 
First and second grade classes are taking their cue from Leo Lionni’s book, “A Busy Year”. In this book the two mice friends “adopt” a tree. Each month they notice the changes that happen to the tree as it goes through all twelve months of a busy year. In the picture below you will see a library tree that Roxhill students have adopted. Our tree started out the year with beautiful autumn leaves created by our students with oil pastel and watercolor. When our tree lost its leaves, as trees do in the fall, it was time to decorate it for winter with collage stars. We wonder what changes the next season will bring?


Volunteer Opportunities


We are always happy to have parents volunteer in our library. Please contact Mrs. Bliquez for more information on how you can help. 

Contact Info
Librarian: Caitlin McPhee
Main Office: (206) 252-9570
Hours
9:35 a.m. to 3:35 p.m.

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