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Franklin Elementary School Library Media Program Spotlighted in Book

Franklin Elementary school library media program is one of about 20 library programs spotlighted in Hacking School Libraries: 10 Ways to Incorporate Library Media Centers into Your Learning Community. The book is by Kristina Holzweiss and Stony Evans. This is the 20th book in the popular Hack Learning series for educators. Holzweiss, the National School Librarian of the Year for 2015, wished to include Franklin Elementary in the book because of its involvement with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), makerspaces, and the Imagination Foundation.

Mrs. Tonya Fletcher, Franklin's Digital Learning and Media Innovation Facilitator, is an Imagination Chapter leader and one of eight Creativity Consultants (CC) for the Imagination Foundation. These C.C.s are mentors to new chapter leaders and volunteer members of the Imagination Foundation’s advisory board.

The Imagination Foundation was founded in 2012 after Nirvan Mullick created a video about nine-year-old Caine Monroy’s cardboard arcade. The non-profit’s goal is to foster imagination and entrepreneurism in children. There are more than 100 Imagination Chapters in nearly two dozen countries.

Imagination Chapters participate in weekly activities such as coding robots and building Rube Goldberg machines. Annual events like the International Inventor’s Challenge and the Global Cardboard Challenge offer more chances for children to connect with groups in other countries. Two Franklin students won Honorable Mention in the Inventor’s Challenge in 2016. The media center has also received more than $1,000 in free supplies from Imagination Chapter sponsors like Ozobot, Makey Makey, MakeDo, and SoHo Impact.

Students at Franklin Elementary have benefited from connections with chapter leaders around the world. Students have videoconferenced with the Head of NASA, the Director of the International Space Station, astronauts, scientists, and others in STEM careers.

Mrs. Fletcher shared, “Our chapter involves more than 500 Franklin Elementary School students.  We are a group of makers, engineers, artists, scientists, inventors, coders, and readers. We have a club of fifth graders that meets during school on Fridays, but all of the students benefit from these maker activities.  Creativity, innovation, collaboration, problem-solving, persistence, design thinking, and global connections. . .Who knew cardboard could make such a difference in our children’s lives?”