These stories, letters and quotes from OUSD students, staff, and community members celebrate the impact of the school library program.


From a First Grade Teacher at Bridges Academy

 “Once a week I take my first grade students to the school library… the place where kids can explore any book, not just those that are “at their reading level.”  This is so important for young readers who are still unsure of who they are as readers.  In the classroom, the teacher is careful to match students to books that are at an appropriate reading level.  While this may be sound pedagogy it also runs the risk of sending a different message to children: reading is about mastery of skills rather than about the chance to fall in love with books.  A skilled teacher is going to do everything he or she can to avoid having students see reading as just another assignment.  Having a library makes this task so much more feasible.  We visit the library, not because it is one of our reading “lessons” but because we simply want to enjoy being in the presence of books, books that address a myriad of topics, books that whet our students’ appetites for adventure, for humor, for the chance to be frightened by that mighty T-Rex.”
                                                                  Max Velez, First Grade Teacher, Bridges Academy

Students at CUES/Futures Describe What the School Library Means to Them


Ms. Rebecca Edwards, Senior Library Clerk in the Community United/Futures library celebrated School Library Month (April) by introducing the fourth grade students to a prize winning essay by Amy Tan at age 8, where Amy wrote about the role of the library in her life. Ms. Rebecca then asked her students to answer the question: “What does the library mean to you?”

“I know I can come to school and get books from the library instead of going somewhere else.” Kenya

“I like the library because its a place where I can choose out of 100’s of books, poems, tall tales, biographies, etc.” Stephanie



Loving the Library

”I’m so glad there is an organization that is trying to get quality libraries in our Oakland Public Schools. Coming from a disadvantaged school to Redwood Heights, I can testify that the work you are doing is so very important. I’m a special education teacher with the reading clinic. My class draws kids from all over Oakland (they are bused in.).  They literally screamed with delight this year when they saw the RHS library, compared to their own.

We have an amazing library here at Redwood heights.  Having such amazing choices has made a real difference in motivating my students to read, and these are struggling readers.  They have really improved their reading this year much more than in years past.

The Oakland Unified School District really needs to make an investment in school libraries and books in order to help every student reach his/her potential.  Research shows that quite simply children need lots of books to read– books they are interested in and books at their level.”

Kellie Stoddart
SDC Teacher
Reading Clinic
Redwood Heights


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