Junior ambassadors also publicized and executed a school-wide Read-a-thon to raise money for the Grain-of-Rice project, with the funds used to build elementary schools in Kenya.
Anne Amrhein and the Junior Ambassadors program received the American Library Association's Sara Jaffarian Award for Excellence in Humanities. Photo provided.
(Batesville, Ind.) - Batesville Intermediate School (BIS) is receiving national recognition for the Junior Ambassador program by earning the 2020 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award from the American Library Association (ALA).
The $5,000 Jaffarian Award recognizes excellence in humanities programming in libraries that serve grades K-8.
Using the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Book Club for young people, the Junior Ambassadors program seeks to bring a global perspective to the school’s curriculum.
The program, led by media specialist/school librarian Anne Amrhein, served 24 students in the 2019-2020 school year. During meetings, students worked to create multimedia presentations, posters and public service announcements based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, such as zero hunger and gender equality.
The Junior Ambassadors then scheduled presentations with every classroom to engage and inform all 480 third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students. The program also featured weekly guest speakers ranging from local food pantry administrators, state hunger activists and global partners working to improve the lives of those in Kenya and Haiti. The school partnered with local business Hillenbrand to secure funding for book club purchases.
Through this program, the students launched their mission and introduced their projects through a "press conference" attended by families, Hillenbrand executives and the local newspaper. Students also publicized and executed a school-wide Read-a-thon to raise money for the Grain-of-Rice project, with the funds used to build elementary schools in Kenya.
Anne Amrhein will present a free one-hour webinar on the award-winning program at 12 p.m. on Thursday, November 5. Registration for the webinar can be found on ALA’s Programming Librarian website.
This year’s Jaffarian Award Committee included school librarians from across the United States and the award was administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians.