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Disclaimer:  This is not a plea for donations, but I just don't know what to
do with these emotions.  One of our families lost their home yesterday to a
massive fire.  The boy is a special ed student who has recently begun
reading with our therapy dog.  He beams when he comes in.  Yesterday, he
came in with a note from his teacher, reporting that the girl who had an
appointment Wednesday was absent and would miss her appointment.  I asked T
if he wanted to read at that time and have 2 sessions with Bubba (a lovely,
gentle Springer Spaniel from rescue) this week.  He was so excited!  It was
a beautiful day in Georgia, with a high of 72 degrees.  After the buses
left, my principal announced that teachers could leave early as a morale
builder.  It worked.  Teachers were dancing in the halls!  I ran errands,
preparing for spring break, but when I returned home, I obsessively checked
my school email.  The counselor had sent a note that T and his 2nd grade
sister (along with a middle school brother who went to our school last year
and 2 younger sisters) had lost their home to a dryer fire.  4 adults and 5
children living in a double wide mobile home.  Grandma got the children out
of the house.  Mom was not home.  Get this - she was en route to Atlanta to
pick up Dad, who is returning from a stint in Afghanistan.  The front of the
house is relatively unscathed - a banner welcoming Michael home from the war
is only slightly singed.  Behind the front wall, the house is a total loss.
The two children returned to school today and T came to his regular
appointment to read with Bubba. He said he didn't want to miss his
appointment.  In this time of libraries closing and librarians losing jobs,
this is one example of why we do what we do.    I needed to do something
concrete, so my husband and I brought in clothes for each of the children.
The therapy dog mom brought in a gift card for the family to a local
superstore.  But T's biggest need was to talk to and read to Bubba.  Thanks
for letting me process my grief.

Linda Martin
Teacher Librarian and Storyteller
2007 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year
Gainesville, GA
Doctoral Student
Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
College of Education
University of Georgia

"It is more than ironic that school districts are willing to spend hundreds
of thousands of dollars on reading programs and staff development which
*have had limited success* in boosting test scores, but are unwilling to
invest in school library programs that show direct correlations <>  to student success."
~ Douglas Achterman,  2008 Study of California School Libraries

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