I am an Elementary School Librarian (K-5), Wife to a Most Magnificent Husband, and Mother to 3 Beautiful teen and young adult Blessings, and yes, I love to read! I also enjoy cooking and eating at local restaurants. I am thankful to be able to spread love, joy, and laughter just as it has been given to me. #AllGlorytoGod
The 2019-2020 school year represents my 7th year of serving as a school librarian (Library Media Specialist); spreading the love of reading, encouraging exploration and discovery through research, and engaging students in lessons that spark their creativity. When I think back to my childhood, these elements were what made the library a very special place for me. It is a launchpad by which we get to discover and pursue our dreams. Every day that I open a book, I open up a world of possibility.
Professional Learning Network
I am proud to be a part of a learning community that includes esteemed colleagues both from within my district and our surrounding city, of Buffalo. I am also actively engaged in a thriving network of educational leaders through academic platforms online. I use Social Media professionally as a means primarily to:
- Expand my PLN to include educational leaders worldwide. Sharing our expertise and learning from each other.
- Stay in the know with the latest news about our (my students & myself) favorite authors, increasing exposure to literary excellence by means of a virtual author visit and winning copies of books, for example.
My Professional Learning Experiences
Book Excursion Member
A group of 15 educational leaders who read, review, and promote books through Social Media and in our communities with an express purpose of sharing our love of reading with the families we serve. The co-founders are Kimberly Bower (@gladeslibrarian) and Laura Mossa (@lauramossa) who have been a huge part of my reading experience on Twitter.
MG Book Village Reviewer
The MG Book Village is “A place for the Middle Grade community to connect, share, learn, discuss, inspire, embolden, comfort, assist, and do all the countless other things strong communities do for its members.” I am grateful to be a member of a passionate team of readers and book champions who have a heart for connecting children to great reads. The site administrators are the best and include author Jarrett Lerner, children’s public librarian, Kathie MacIssac, classroom teacher, Corrina Allen, and retired teacher-librarian, Laurie Hnatiuk.
Project Lit Community Site Leader
Through the efforts of the innovative Nashville, TN English teacher, Jarred Amato, and his amazing students, educators across the United States have launched local ProjectLit chapters. I am the site leader for Project Lit Buffalo.
I had an opportunity in 2018 to do an expert read for Sterling Children’s Books for a middle grade book that releases this fall (2019). It gave me a chance to 1) gain a sneak peek of a book I was already excited to read, in its manuscript form, 2) to provide feedback on the authenticity of the dynamics of conversation and interaction with the African American family in the book, and, 3) to read for anything that might be deemed insensitive, inaccurate, or offensive. I enjoyed this experience a great deal and I look forward to the next assignment.
SCBWI & BNCWI Member
As of 2019, I am now a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as the Buffalo Niagara Children’s Writers and Illustrators group. I am a newbie, surrounded by some amazing people as I begin my journey. My WIP involves a great deal of research right now. My heart is with nonfiction or informational picture books. Especially biographies and texts that uncover hidden figures and events in history that deserve to be highlighted. My heart is also for my City (Buffalo, NY) and for telling the stories that celebrate its historic brilliance.
Book Release Launch Teams
1. Blink YA Launch Team – I was so honored to have been a part of Blink YA’s launch team (with an ARC) for the book Solo by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess that released 8/1/17. Promoting quality books is easy! Especially when you get an opportunity to spread the book love about an author that is counted as a favorite by myself and my students. Read the review here.
2. Street Team – Member of the street team for The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie that released October 2017. I had the privilege of reading an E-ARC, provided by NetGalley and then promoted the book to my students, families, and social media platforms. Read the review here.
3. Swing Book Launch Team – Member of the #SwingBook Launch Team with an E-ARC copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess latest novel in verse. Read the review here. Swing released in October 2018.
4. #Momentous Events Launch Team – Member of the Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus book launch team. This is the follow up to the first book, The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. The main character, Aven, has stuck with me since I read The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus in the spring (of 2018). You can read my review here. I am so excited to be a part of this team and to continue on with Aven’s journey, and I simply can’t wait to get this book into the hands of my students!
Interview on People Who Teach
Interview on Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide
Discussing the Importance of the Read Aloud on the MG Book Village
NetGalley Member | Professional Reader