Woodville Elementary School continues to forge into the 21st century with the expansion of its library.

“We have books, touch screen TVs, interactive games, audio books,” said Yesenia Cervantes, Woodville’s Media Technology Specialist. She explained the school has a contract with Tulare County Office of Education, so students can use the library’s computers that are connected to the Internet to log-on to educational programs. “Students come in to work on PowerPoints for their classes, take [Accelerated Reader] tests, and we have building blocks and gears for younger children and manipulatives. “

This will be the first full year that the Woodville School library will be open in its new location. 

Cervantes said in the past, the library was in a single, smaller mobile trailer near the front of the campus. Now, the library is in two mobile trailers that have been combined, which allows designated spaces for numerous shelves of books, storage for guided reading books for teachers to check out and read with students, sway chairs and curved booth seating one might see in a modern restaurant.

Students are invited into the library before school, at recess and once a week during their classes assigned library time. Cervantes has taken a lot of time to ensure the library is organized and even took time in the summer to hang up “Wreck It Ralph” decorations, which were donated to her by Monache’s stagecraft class. The decorations were made for the annual Porterville Celebrates Reading event.

“They told me I could have them every year after the event,” Cervantes said. “I’m going to take them up on their offer!”

Cervantes, who attended Woodville from the time she was a kindergartner through the eighth grade, has worked at the school for 14 years in a variety of roles. She said she started as a color guard advisor, worked as an aide and the superintendent’s secretary, but in that role she missed working with the students, so she jumped at the chance to become the school’s Media Technology Specialist. 

“They didn’t have a library and wanted to open one and I was offered the position,” Cervantes said. “I had to take classes and I earned a Media Technology Certificate from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo and then I had an internship with Porterville Public Library.”

Cervantes said she has the opportunity to attend library trainings through the Tulare County Office of Education where she gets a lot of ideas she can incorporate. She has purchased various items for students to learn different skills from learning how to fold origami to creating bottle cap jewelry to claymation to mini green screens that has various characters where students can use a camera to create their own movies. She has also discovered students love board games, so she said she will be purchasing more of them.

“People have noticed that this is not your ‘normal library,’” Cervantes said. “Children love to talk, so as long as they are not using their outside voice, I’m good.” 

Cervantes loves her job and new space.

“This is the place where children get introduced to books and all the different technology we have to offer,” she said. “Some children don’t get to read at home. Here they can listen to an audio book etc. Reading takes you to a new world. Students soon learn that their imagination is better than a movie.”

The expansion of the library isn't the only change to take place at Woodville this school year.

Work has started on the new 21st century kindergarten classrooms as well, said Lou Saephan, superintendent of Woodville Elementary School. The classrooms will be furnished with SMART technology and mini iPads.

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