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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Beyond book checkouts, ME librarians teach “digital citizenship”

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Monday, November 13, 2023   

School librarians in Maine are teaching students the importance of "digital citizenship."

The concept is similar to civics education but helps students learn to be better citizens online.

Elementary school librarian and President-elect of the Maine Association of School Libraries Beth Andersen said students study the basic tenets of research, how to weed out disinformation and protect their own mental health.

"Those things are vital to the world that we live in today," said Andersen, "knowing how to be responsible users of technology both in terms of balancing your time as well as knowing what is safe and reliable when you're online."

Studies show math and reading scores are higher in schools staffed with full-time certified librarians - many of whom are now certified media specialists, who go beyond the basic book-checkout to teach programming, coding and robotics.

Students in South Portland are currently merging these skills with the upcoming holiday season in a popular lesson called "Balloons Over Broadway."

Here, students learn to program small robots, which carry their unique balloon creations through school hallways similar to those in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Andersen said it's an event that draws all students together before school break.

"Some of our kids that are so very creative," said Andersen, "it's another outlet for them to express themselves, and it's a great community builder."

The lesson is based on the book, "Balloons Over Broadway," by Melissa Sweet, which tells the true story of the parade's puppeteer. It's touted as a great book for students who love to "learn about how things work."

Anderson said it merges students' STEM learning with artistic expression, both subjects that can be explored in the library.




Disclosure: American Library Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Children's Issues, Education, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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