Where’s Sheryl? Reading and Learning at Bayshore Elementary School

By Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director

“Children need access to quality children’s books that capture their interest and imagination,” said Dr. Audra Pittman, Superintendent of Bayshore Elementary School District, as she and Dr. Marguerite Conrad, Professor at SF State University, showed us the current outdated library books, many of them donated with well-worn pages.

Bayshore Elementary School is one of the lowest funded schools in San Mateo County with limited funds. The closest public library is only open two mornings a week, making the school library even more critical for children and families.

Because of this, Dr. Conrad and retired superintendent Dr. Steve Waterman are working to turn Bayshore Elementary’s library into a vibrant facility. Dr. Waterman passionately explained his vision to fill the library with books “to give students the research skills, information, and reading habits they will need to compete successfully in high school.”

We had a chance to learn about the new Library Initiative, as well as learn about the need for good quality children books, such as the following:

  • Books to inspire young readers and make them laugh when they see their favorite characters (e.g. books by Mo Willems, David Shannon, and Dav Pilkey)
  • 2018 Newbury Award Winners
  • Other recent literary award winners

We believe every child deserves good quality books. PVF has supported teachers at Bayshore for many years and we are proud to have granted $5K for this Library Initiative, which hopes to raise $60K this year.

Bayshore Elementary School received funding (via a general obligation bond) to tear down and rebuild its campus in 2017, but no funding to replace its library books. Steve Waterman, the former superintendent of Bayshore Elementary School District, has remained an advocate for their underfunded district and requested support for the school library to replace its obsolete books with current science and social studies books.

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