2009 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award

The Carroll Academy of International Studies, located in Houston, Texas, is the 2009 winner of the Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The Carroll Academy library will receive a plaque recognizing the achievement, a cash award of $4,000, and the chance to promote their program to other school libraries nationwide.

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. More information on the award, including past winner program information.

Sally Rasch, librarian at Carroll Academy, developed and submitted the winning program for 2009, titled “Learning about the World with a Global Perspective.” Working with the Carroll Academy’s curriculum requirements on International Studies, the library’s “Learning about the World” program gave students an expanded global knowledge through the creative, hands-on study of world regions, languages, governments and the immigration experience. Throughout the school year, students participated in geography lessons, storytelling and music activities, mock world council meetings, book-themed school parades, and an immigration simulation.

The Jaffarian selection committee found this blend of curricular focus ideal. “Carroll Academy’s project integrated many different facets of cultures around the world, including activities about people, ecology, immigration, literature, opera and world organizations,” said Lisa Hathcock, chairperson of the Jaffarian Award selection committee. “The humanities activities were designed so that there was strong student participation with an emphasis on right brain thinking and were differentiated so many different learning styles were addressed.”

Applications for the 2010 Jaffarian Award will be accepted in the fall.