At Armstrong Elementary School Eastover, North Carolina, more than 60 percent of the children receive free or reduced price school lunch. Although poverty is perceived to be a predictor of low academic success, the students at Armstrong, despite high levels of poverty, excel in reading and library use.
A major factor is the school librarian, Leslie Koch, whose work garnered her an I Love My Librarian Award in 2015. The numbers provide strong testimony to the success of her efforts.
During the 2014-15 school year, among the 400 students, the library circulated more than 32,500 books, an average of more than 81 books per student over the course of the year, or greater than nine books per month per student, according to her nominator for the award, Ardry Adams.
Adams said, “Ms. Koch recognizes the importance of reaching all children, and especially those from impoverished homes. Students who read, excel. Ms. Koch is raising the bar, encouraging each student to rise up, read, and excel in their individual academic endeavors.”