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Alumnus empowers students through books, school library

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Alumni,   Kudos,   Media Mention,   Service and Community,   Spotlight

Andy Plemmons' (BSEd '01, MEd '04, EdS '09) biggest goal as a school library media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary School is to empower student voices.

Photo of Andy Plemmons by ©2016 Shawn G. Henry

The Triple Dawg wants people to know that his library "isn't your parents' school library." All of his lessons aim to blend education with fun and technology. "It's not that I don't do anything with books, but when I explain what I do, I start talking about big projects [such as] Makerspace, World Read Aloud Day, and Skyping with authors," he said.

Plemmons has undertaken numerous educational initiatives at the school, including expanding the second graders' Black History Month projects by creating the Barrow Peace Prize. In addition to learning about the Nobel Peace Prize, students also had a chance to gain experience using Google Docs, writing a persuasive paper and creating a 90-second Flipgrid video.

When Barrow Elementary received a $5,000 grant from Scholastic Reading Club, Plemmons turned the funds over to a group of kids, who surveyed 334 of their peers from PreK-5 using iPads to learn the most-wanted categories of titles. They then met with library vendors, created a wish list and decided which books to cut. The students ordered a total of 346 new books.

Plemmons' work was recently featured in Library Journal, a trade publication for librarians.

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602