Louisiana Tech serves as one of five national host sites for Children’s Choices
Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education was recently selected as one of just five host sites in the nation for the Children’s Choices Program – a joint project between the Children’s Book Council and the International Literacy Association (ILA.) Dr. Amy Massey Vessel, director of Louisiana Tech’s Clinical Residency Research Center and interim director of professional and clinical experiences, applied last year to serve as a host site and was selected to serve as a team leader on ILA’s Children’s Choices Committee. Lincoln Parish School district leaders Lisa Mangum and Sherry Boyd also played an integral role in supporting the establishment of the Children’s Choices Program in area schools, and will continue to support this three-year program.“Bringing the Children’s Choices Program to Lincoln Parish was a dream come true,” said Vessel. “Some things cannot be captured with a photo or put into words, like the excitement of delivering new books to the hands of a child. We look forward to watching this partnership continue to reach additional schools in the next year.” More than 2,500 students at Hillcrest Elementary, Ruston Elementary, Glen View Elementary and Cypress Springs Elementary School submitted votes from August 2015 through January 2016 after having the opportunity to choose books to read and share their reviews. Those votes were compiled and submitted to the Children’s Book Council to create the 2016 award winning reading lists that were released recently during National Children’s Book Week. Teachers from across the country use Children’s Choices, Teachers’ Choices and Parents’ Choices recommended book lists to select new books for their classroom libraries. Lincoln Parish Schools dedicated many hours to this project and earned an entire set of almost 1,000 books for their school libraries. Teachers had the opportunity to see these published books from the many national publishing companies, sometimes even weeks before they were available in local bookstores. Since 1974, Children’s Choices has been a trusted source of book recommendations used by teachers, booksellers, librarians, parents, caregivers – everyone who wishes to encourage young people to read for pleasure – and children themselves. Each year, over 36,000 children from different regions of the United States read newly-published children’s and young adult trade books and vote for the ones they like best. These Children’s Choices, selected from more than 900 titles, can be counted on as books children really enjoy reading. Vessel is currently collaborating with Dr. Bryan McCoy, chair of the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership at Louisiana Tech, to establish a children’s library in Woodard Hall for teacher candidates and the community. The 2016 Children’s Choices winners are currently on display in the Clinical Residency Research Center in Woodard Hall 214.