Tag Archives: Sauk Rapids-Rice

Podcasting – Jumping in Head First


check out Maria’s actual setup – pretty cool!

(by Guest Blogger Maria Burnham, from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School; read about our visit to her library!)

I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation.  Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]?  It’s so great!”  Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues.  I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.

Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands.  I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book.  In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library.  High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out.  Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic.  Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations.  I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.

Continue reading Podcasting – Jumping in Head First

Library Visit: Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

This week I got to take a tour of the library at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School! Director Maria Burnham escorted me around the library – not an easy task in a library filled with students working on school work, group projects, and puzzle creation before school started for the day. There was a lot to see here, and everything looked just great. (Yes, it was hard to pull myself away from the books in the collection; but I was brave about it!) Maria is based here, but spends a lot of time charging around the building helping out in classrooms, teaching, and working with students wherever they could use a librarian. She is a great example of the way library service is changing for the better: we don’t sit and wait for people to come find us, instead library service goes where it can best be of service!

When you walk inside the door, you are immediately aware you are in a library that is connecting with patrons!

Lots of good books on display here!

Not only is this a very nice looking book shelf, displaying all kinds of interesting new books – but it was created in shop class at the school by a student. Engaging patrons to that extent is an impressive achievement! Continue reading Library Visit: Sauk Rapids-Rice High School

Sauk Rapids-Rice District Re-Thinks Finances

217/365 August 5 - Found MoneyThe St. Cloud Times recently placed a spotlight on the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District.  Did you know that with changes made in the 2013 legislative session, schools can re-think the costs of doing business? For instance, now that the state is picking up the cost of full day kindergarten, district money is back on the table. In this case, many previous costs to families will be eliminated or reduced, and there is new opportunity to engage students with technology too!

A few of the Sauk Rapids-Rice improvements include:

  • Student transportation fee was dropped (some students were paying $400/year)
  • Supply lists in elementary schools were pared back to save parents money.
  • Free breakfast for all students (Currently, 34% of students receive free or reduced lunch)
  • Next year, fees to participate in sports or activities will be reduced.
  • In December, the District is choosing to lease 1,300 MacBook Airs for its high school students.

Superintendant Dan Bittman shares….”As a district, we are focused on eliminating financial barriers and creating more equity regardless of their family income or regardless of the color of their skin”

Make sure to read the entire article at SCTimes.com for all of the details. Is your local school district using freed up dollars in new and exciting ways like Sauk Rapids Rice is? How about restoring media centers that have been severely cut? Share in the comments….

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/k8cbqwd, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Congrats SRR Middle School!

isd47-website21The Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School has been awarded the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Consequently, the Middle School will receive approximately $134,000 toward next year’s programming to increase access to digital literacy and technology! The grant focuses on removing financial barriers for families and increasing opportunities for students to succeed in literacy. Purchases of iPads and eContent are part of the work of this grant.

Many individuals including, but not limited to, Media Specialist Cindy Hiedemen, Technology Coach Laura Mackenthun, Language Arts Teacher Sandie Lahr, and Middle School Principal Nate Rudolph  researched and wrote the grant.   Grant partners include the City of Rice, Apple Inc., the Central MN Libraries Exchange (CMLE), and Sauk Rapids-Rice Education Foundation.

CMLE staff wish SRR the very best in going forward on a fast track with the implementation of this grant. We look forward to reporting back to those in the region about the progress and outcomes of this work. Well done!

Note: The Sauk Rapids-Rice High School also has exciting news about embarking on a 1:1 laptop initiative next school year. Recently, a St. Cloud Times article provided more detail.

Is your school moving in the same direction? Send your stories to cmle@stcloudstate.edu