A strong history of collaboration exists between the Midland County Public Libraries and the Midland Independent School District in Texas. Project Literacy, supported by Wells Fargo and the Midland Reporter-Telegram, brings nationally renowned authors to Midland schools and libraries each September and provides a free book for each 1st grader in Midland County. Each spring the library works with administrators, principals, and teachers to host thousands of local students on field trips to the libraries and the Midland County Historical Museum. For the last two years the library has hosted a district-wide Student Art Show, exhibiting nearly 1,000 pieces of art. We are always looking for new and better ways to create an exceptional educational climate for local students.
This spring, library and Midland ISD staff met to identify opportunities to bring students and learning together at the library during the summer. Our teams worked closely to identify what could be done with modest resources on an accelerated timeline. As a direct result of these conversations, the Midland County Public Library in partnership with Midland ISD is poised make a substantive enhancement.
The libraries are ready to install an Imagination Station (Istation) kiosk at both libraries. Combined, the two Istation kiosks will provide 864 hours per week of direct and dedicated access for the school district’s approximately 13,400 elementary students. The library and school district anticipate each of the Istation kiosks will experience heavy usage over the summer. Total average attendance at both libraries tops 1,500 daily during the summer months, and the library enrolls over 2,300 local students in the summer reading program annually.
Istation is a school-district-supported online learning environment that uses game-based lessons and activities to improve and track student educational achievement levels. Each elementary student in the district has been issued an individual Istation profile developed specifically to fit his or her unique educational needs.
This joint-agency strategy is the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that makes our library and school district unique. Istation kiosks combine an innovative nature with common sense. Placing Istation kiosks in the libraries has excited school district administrators, teachers, and parents—all of whom want to see Istation succeed in engaging our children in educational play during the summer months.
Bringing Istation kiosks into the library is one simple step forward. While it is simple, it maintains our focus on keeping the needs of the students we serve at the center of the services we provide.
For more information about how to keep children engaged in learning during the summer, visit Istation’s Summer Use Web page.