Woodsdale Elementary School wins Sara Jaffarian Award for school library programming

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications

(312) 280-5286


For Immediate Release,

March 3, 2008

Woodsdale Elementary School wins Sara Jaffarian Award for school library programming

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) is pleased to announce that the Woodsdale Elementary School in Wheeling, W.Va., is the winner of the 2008 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The award will be presented in June at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif. The Woodsdale Elementary School will receive a plaque recognizing the achievement, a cash award of $4,000 and inclusion of the winning program in a national training session for model humanities programs.

Sandra Wiseman, school library media specialist at Woodsdale Elementary, developed and submitted the winning program, entitled “History Hits the Road to Woodsdale.” Partnering with local historians, the West Virginia Humanities Council, the PTA, parents and community volunteers, “History Hits the Road” allowed students to experience life in the 19th century through hands-on learning. Teachers of all grade levels built classroom activities around the theme, using reading, research, role playing, crafts and music to actively engage students in understanding the pioneer life.

“Woodsdale's program demonstrated exemplary planning and collaboration as well as a unique outreach to the state historical community,” said Carolyn Cain, chairperson of the Jaffarian Award selection committee. “All members of the Awards committee felt that this program could serve as a great model for schools with its emphasis on active student learning, curricular connections, parent support and community involvement.”

The Sara Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle school (K-8) libraries. It is presented annually by the Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), and named for Sara Jaffarian, whose donation to ALA's Cultural Communities Fund established the award. Jaffarian, a retired school librarian and long-time ALA member, spent her career passionately advocating for school libraries in every school. The Sara Jaffarian Award is selected annually by a committee comprising members of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee (PCPAC) and AASL.

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help all types of libraries develop and host cultural programs for adults, young adults, children and families. For more information about the Public Programs Office, the ALA Cultural Communities Fund and its Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Sara Jaffarian Award, please visit the Public Programs Office Web site at