Diverse Additions to Classroom Libraries
This year Loudoun County Public Schools is celebrating its student population with an investment in diverse text collections for all K-12 English Language Arts classrooms. In describing the texts the Division of Teaching and Learning, Elementary and Secondary Reading, noted that, “Classroom and school libraries reflect our values and contribute to developing student identities; therefore, our collections must reflect and honor our student population and those around them. Access to books in the home, school, and classroom has a strong correlation with reading proficiency. Students who read more also have stronger vocabulary, background knowledge, and empathy.” Classroom libraries complement our robust school libraries.
The addition of these texts to classroom libraries is a reflection of Loudoun County Public Schools’ commitment to providing staff, students and parents with resources and opportunities for an equitable education. As Superintendent Eric Williams said in the equity statement he issued on August 19, 2019:
“LCPS is committed to providing a safe, empathetic, respectful and supportive learning environment in order to empower every student to make meaningful contributions to the world. When students and staff experience racial insults, slurs, and/or other hate speech, we lack the positive culture and climate that supports students’ growth.
LCPS calls for all students, staff, families, and other members of our community to engage in the disruption and dismantling of white supremacy, systemic racism, and hateful language and actions based on race, religion, country of origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, and/or ability. LCPS rejects racist and other hateful behavior and language, recognizing that it encourages discrimination, hatred, oppression, and violence.
Every individual is valued in Loudoun County Public Schools. Let’s celebrate the diversity that helps define us as a school division.”
The diverse classroom libraries were created through the collaboration of LCPS teachers, librarians, administrators, and classroom book collection specialist teams trained to identify culturally responsive and diverse texts in accordance to LCPS School Board Policy 5-7 Regulation, Selection and Review of Instructional Materials. Several criteria were considered including representation, authorship, relevance to students’ lives, authentic voice, and developmental appropriateness. Information regarding the libraries can be found at this link – Diverse Book Collections.