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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PTA Library Support Recognized by TASL/TPTA Shirley Igo Award

Written from the Shirley Igo Collaboration Award application originally written by Susan Harmon (Librarian at Barbara Fasken Elementary School, Midland ISD), Lina Baiza (Principal Barbara Fasken Elementary), Kaci McDaniel (President, Barbara Fasken Elementary School PTA). 


Sara Stilwell (PTA), Kaci McDaniel (PTA President),
Lina Baiza (Principal), Susan Harmon (Librarian)

The Shirley Igo Award is sponsored jointly by the Texas PTA and the Texas Library Association; the award recognizes an outstanding collaboration between a PTA organization and school library media center during the school year. Projects and efforts at both the local campus and district levels are eligible. The award honors the memory of Shirley Igo of Plainview, a past president of the Texas and National PTA and a longtime champion of libraries, education, and literacy. Further details here: http://txla.org/groups/TASL-awards

Many libraries benefit from the support of their PTA at activities like Book Fairs. If your PTA goes above and beyond for your library or you have a unique PTA/School Library Collaboration, start gathering information now to apply for this award. What better way to thank your PTA for all they do for your library than nominating them for statewide recognition?

2016 Award Winning School Library/PTA Collaboration
PTA’s are traditionally known for providing tools or making programs and activities possible that may otherwise not be feasible.  What makes the Barbara Fasken Elementary PTA so special is their commitment to ensuring the best opportunities for learning were provided and recognizing how much a school library can make a difference.  
Barbara Fasken Elementary School in Midland ISD is fortunate to be on land donated by the deceased namesake’s oil company, Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. The school is in sight of current company facilities, making it easy for company employees to remain interested and invested in the school’s successes. Many of their employees joined the PTA and began advocating on the school’s behalf.

The PTA met with the oil company early on to decide the most pressing needs for the new school.  While many things would have been beneficial, they decided to ask for funding to fill the library after they realized the gap between the only 1800 books Midland ISD could provide to open the library and the Texas state standards recommending 12,000 books. The community knew how important having sufficient books in the library would be to strengthening the literacy program.

Because of the hard work of the PTA and PTA President who collaborated with their Partner in Education, Fasken Oil & Ranch, the library was able to purchase an additional 8,000 books this year! The company raised funds through many avenues-asking for donations, having drawings for various items, having a silent auction at their Christmas party-to raise $110,000.  The PTA was with them every step of the way by depositing this money and thanking the oil company through many acts of kindness.  They then paid all the bills for books ordered for the library and kept in constant contact with librarian Susan Harmon. 

Volunteers from the PTA also helped with book processing.   A job that could have taken more than a decade to achieve has been accomplished in one. The PTA has built the library to almost 10,000 books in one remarkable year.   And they participate in the school’s ongoing “Partners in Reading” program where they work one-on-one with reluctant readers at least once a week.  

Additionally, Barbara Fasken Elementary PTA has two active committees that are directly involved in the library.  The first committee is the Library Committee.  This committee is responsible for staffing the library one morning a week as the librarian works on other campuses.  Currently, Midland ISD has four campuses without librarians so Susan Harmon, the only certified librarian has to close her Fasken Library each week to travel to two other campuses. The second committee is the Book Fair Committee.  This committee organizes, sets up and runs the book fairs, two each year.  100% of the proceeds from the book fair are given back to the library to purchase additional books and resources for students. 

The Barbara Fasken Elementary PTA has been an invaluable partner with the school to promote improved literacy development and create opportunities for learning.   The PTA, in concert with the librarian continue to foster a community committed to literacy through the development and use of Fasken’s library and students have truly benefitted from their hard work. The PTA has provided over 400 hours of volunteer work related to the library.  In addition to volunteer hours, the PTA was also able to provide over $135,000 to date, in order to purchase books and resources for the library.  The school is thankful for librarian Susan Harmon for her dedication to making sure that every child at our school develops a love of reading!  They are also thankful to the many library volunteers, teachers, staff and most importantly their friends at Fasken Oil and Ranch.  Fasken students have an amazing library, because of the teamwork of so many people!  

TASL President Becky Calzada with Fasken PTA officers.



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