Congratulations to Paulette Elliott, Nominee for the Judy Moomaugh Award of Excellence For Exemplary Service by a Library Paraprofessional
Santa Clara County Office of Education
San Mateo County Office of Education
This annual award is given in memory of Judy Moomaugh, a librarian and dedicated supporter of libraries, who believed that a library paraprofessional could create and sustain a thriving school library environment that the entire learning community could be proud of. Judy encouraged all library paraprofessionals to read, do book talks, do story time, decorate, promote, and build a relevant and engaging collection. This award is presented to a library paraprofessional who goes above and beyond in the effort to support an outstanding school library program.
Award Nominee: Paulette Elliott
How does the nominee demonstrate performance that exceeds expectations and sets a standard for excellence?
Our Library Media Technical Associate, Paulette Elliott is such an asset to our school. She joined our school in 2006. Paulette strives to help students to love books and become proficient readers. She works closely with me, and teachers to support literacy and student achievement. (Roosevelt School has 65% English Language Learners and 72% Free and Reduced Lunch.) Everything she does is to support student success and love for reading.
Paulette goes above and beyond her job description and the hours she is paid to work each and every week. Two years ago, her position at our school site was 37.5 hours and we had 380 students. Due to budget cuts, her position is now part-time, and only 18.75 hours per week and this year we have 485 students. By volunteering her own time, she provides the same quality program to our students, even with the addition of 135 students and the reduction of hours.
Paulette does the traditional library story time and book check out, but in addition to that, she promotes literacy through many different avenues.
Paulette sees classes weekly, and our 5th & 6th grade bi weekly. While her schedule was designed for her to meet with all classes back to every other week, she felt it was important for students to come weekly and has packed her schedule to see grades K-4 each week. During the read aloud time, Paulette covers the literacy and library standards for the grade level.
Read aloud stories are selected according to local and world events, such depending on tsunami’s and the Olympics as well as aligning with classroom standards. Each year our students participate in the California Young Reader Award. Nominated books in each category are read aloud and Paulette explains the voting process. Paulette uses the District’s Pacing Guides and she selects appropriate books for each grade level to further reinforce what is happening in the classroom.
Paulette’s energy and enthusiasm are not only seen at our school library, but also at another district library as well. Because of budget cuts, Paulette works at Adelante School Library. When she started there last year, there were over 800+ books not turned in from the previous year. After trying very hard for many months to get books back and/ or paid for, it became clear that the students needed some help, and she wanted them to take borrowing books seriously. She organized a See’s candy sale so that any student participating was able to have the lost book reordered with the See’s candy sale profits. It was hugely successful!
Librarian Technology Certificate
Paulette received her Certificate in Library Information Technology from City College in San Francisco in 2008. The coursework supports her as libraries and technology evolve.
Accelerated Reader Program
She operates the Accelerated Reader program through the library at our school. Roosevelt is one of three schools in Redwood City that have this program. Paulette brought the AR program to Roosevelt School in 2006. She leveled all the books in our library. This reading comprehension program begins with each student taking a reading pretest in order to get a reading range. Once the range is determined, the student can easily find books in our library.
All our library book levels are easily identifiable by the color-coded labels on the book spines. The color codes are aligned to the different readings levels. This helps students to select books to ensure their reading success. After a student reads the leveled book, a comprehension quiz is taken. Students earn points based upon the number of Points questions they answer correctly. This year rather than the number of books read, a point system was created. Students work towards their point goals during each AR.
During each AR reading cycle, students have goals to reach and there is a celebration to recognize student achievement. Students are invited to the celebration and receive books, bookmarks and certificates. Our last celebration was an AR luncheon where students feasted on hotdogs, fruit and cupcakes. Achieving reading goals was very important, and each student was given a balloon that said, “I met my AR goal. Ask me how.”
This year, she worked additional hours to operate the after school AR program. Students were invited to come three days a week to read and take their AR quizzes. Paulette monitors 50 students (25 in each session) so they may select books, read, and take quizzes as they work towards their AR reading goals. Our teachers love AR and rely on the data that Paulette is able to give them from the reading assessment and quiz portion of this program
Our library circulation numbers have doubled since last year due to Paulette’s energy and enthusiasm.
This program was never and is not part of her job description. She started it at Roosevelt to benefit the students and she willingly operates this program on her own time.
Paulette coordinates our Book Fairs during the school year and is able to support classroom instruction by helping to provide teachers with their books on their wish lists. Paulette’s Book Fairs are exciting events. In addition to classroom preview days, she holds after school and evening events such as: Cookies & Cocoa and Popcorn & Punch days. Many times these were held on Saturday mornings evenings to accommodate working parents and their children.
Paulette wants all children to be able to have “new books in their hands” and we met to create a list of students who due to financial needs may not be able to purchase a new book. . She created the “Book Fair Dollars” to be given to these students so they may purchase books at the Book Fair. She has a creative process so students think they “won” these “Book Fair Dollars.”)
This year, through two donors and fundraising efforts, we were able to get four SMART BOARDS for the school. When Paulette learned how beneficial they were to interactive student learning, she investigated how she could provide more SMART BOARDS to she schools. She learned that she could purchase SMART BOARDS with Scholastic Dollars. As part of this year’s Book Fair campaign, we participated in the One For Books by doing a coin drive. This raised money to purchase SMART BOARDS and collected $1200 in coins. She enlisted help to count the many, many coins, but most were counted by Paulette, herself after hours in the library. Roosevelt School will be getting 2 more SMARTBOARDS through her Book Fair efforts.
How does the nominee use initiative and creativity to improve productivity and quality of work in the library?
Upon entering our library, you are greeted with a large banner of cut out letters that Paulette made and decorated that reads “Welcome to the Library”. There is an eclectic mix of interesting items scattered through out the library. Upon first glance you might not realize that these items are indeed strategically placed to represent where their complementary books are. For example, a large Dinosaur Skeleton has been constructed on the shelf above the Dinosaur books. The Dinosaur is holding the Dewey Decimal number for Dinosaurs. A large dragon and puppet of Pinocchio are sitting above the Fairy Tales section and hold their Dewey number. Other items such as a stuffed dog, penguin, human skeleton, a solar system mobile, picture of the President, giraffes, insects, snakes, whales and many more things are all placed by their appropriate sections, with their corresponding Dewey Decimal number by them. This is done to make the non-fiction section more user-friendly while still having the Dewey Information posted.
Another thing Paulette has done is to place five clocks with different time zones on the library wall. She has Hawaii, San Francisco, Colorado, New York & Rome. When she put the clocks up, she read a book about the time zones and had students from each class be the sun and earth to depict how time zones work.
Our Library always has holiday decorations and highlights latest book releases placed in the center with corresponding holiday books displayed that students might check out.
With these monies, she is able to finance the AR parties and prizes. This is how she bought the pedometers for the school lunch walking program, and also scheduled and paid for an Accelerated Reader Webinar for our teachers to help them better understand the program.
This money also provides author visits to our site. Last year, author / Illustrator Steve Riley presented an exciting, funny and educational presentation on the writing process, the parts of a story, and his illustration techniques. Mr. Riley showed his original sketches for his first book, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race.
EWASTE monies were also used to buy high interest books for the students. Some of these purchased this past year, include non-fiction books ranging in topics from Animals to Muscle Cars.
Parent Education Team
Paulette participates on our Parent Education Team with both the planning and implementation of our education nights. Each year, we hold three evening trainings dedicated to educating parents about how to work with their children at home. Two are always literacy based. This year, our theme was “reading aloud to and with your children”. In October, we held our Community Members Read Aloud Night. We kicked off the evening with Paulette reading Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long aloud, to children sitting around her on the floor. Parents were seated on chairs around the room. Using a document camera and projector, she modeled how to read the book aloud and ask probing questions.
In addition to reading that night, Paulette participated in all stages of the Literacy Night events: planning, set up and ordering books for students to take home at the end of the evening.
Paulette has been our school’s coordinator for RIF books for the past five years. She has attended the County meetings for the program, selected books and implemented the distribution of these books. Our students look forward to receiving the books from her.