Tuesday, December 6, 2011

EduKARE taking shape...


flickr CC image via Enokson

The most exciting announcement I've heard for a while took place today in my city. Through the collaborative efforts of the City of Red Deer, Red Deer Public Schools and Red Deer Public Libraries, a new library was born today. This library will be different though.

This library will serve as a public and a school library, and it will be located at a new school to be opened in September 2014. This is a concept for library services that I have been thinking about, and writing about for some time. From the archives...
School Site Selection"As schools are renovated, redesigned or built new, physical EduKARE elements could be built into them. Community halls, recreational facilities, health clinics, libraries, satellite police stations, social service agency offices... these could be built in to the new building reducing cost of maintaining multiple facilities. Shared costs between agencies and school boards in providing these collaborative service spaces would save money. Thinking way outside the box, why couldn't senior citizen facilities share the same buildings as well? Sugatra Mitra is connecting senior citizens with the time and so much more to offer our youth in a global context; why not bring his "granny cloud" concept to every school? If we can connect significant others to kids in a global context, surely we can make the connection locally within our schools."

I am very fortunate to live in a community that supports initiatives like this one, and to work for a school district that sees the value in partnership and shared vision. From Mayor Morris Flewelling...
“This is a great opportunity for partnership in our community... the library will be a great resource for students, and provide a gathering space for the community to use and to enjoy the programs offered by the public library board.”
Our school board chair, Lawrence Lee, also expressed his excitement...
“Literacy is a top priority for Red Deer Public Schools as it really is at the heart of education,” Lee said. “Working in partnership with the library and The City will be a tremendous benefit to all the students in our new school.”
And Dean Frey, Director of Red Deer Public Library added...
“We are very excited about this project and partnering with the school board and The City,” said Dean Frey, We want to continue to grow library service in the city and offer great programs for residents.”
Bridging school and community services is a giant step toward creating learning circles that target authentic, collaborative and creative learning opportunities for everyone. When we place learning at the center of any community initiative, everybody wins.

Great work. This is a positive move toward a more healthy, secure and resilient communityCan't wait to be at the new library on opening day!
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