Castle Rock Elementary opens up a ‘Library of Innovations’

Woodlake’s Castle Rock Elementary unveils updated library, equipped with 3D printers, hi-tech whiteboard to be a “21st century learning center”

WOODLAKE – The kids of Castle Rock Elementary have a new hangout they’ve dubbed the “Library of Innovations,” the new and improved library at Woodlake’s elementary school, celebrated at the Sept. 2 ribbon-cutting.

Castle Rock Principle Jason Treviño said the elementary school’s library has been renovated into a “21st century learning center” equipped with new furniture, book carts, book cases, 3D printers, a Lego wall and various STEM activities for students.

“The library is now a place where kids can go and innovate, not just read, but build things, learn about science and technology, engineering, art and math all at the same time,” Treviño said. “Think about your modern day Starbucks, where you can just go and hang out, have a cup of coffee with your computer, work and communicate with people or just blog—those kinds of things. That’s more of what we were trying to capture when we started to build and reinvent that space.”

The Library of Innovations garnered its name from the “Library Squad,” a group of students recruited by the Castle Rock librarian to represent the kids on campus and help organize events during lunch and recess, and other activities over the course of the school year. Treviño said fourth grader Kalyssa Iniguez got up in front of the crowd and spoke at the Sept. 2 ribbon cutting on behalf of the Library Squad and her fellow classmates.

“[She] talked about how cool the library is, and how she can’t wait to kick her feet up and relax on one of the soft seating spaces that we have so she can read a book,” Treviño said.

While students have had access to books, the library has been closed as a shared space since the outbreak of COVID-19. Now that kids are back in the classroom, Treviño said the newly renovated library is open during school hours with plenty of room for social distancing. Treviño said the staff also plans to make use of the space’s new Promethean board—a modern-day take on a whiteboard with interactive displays and internet connection—for parent and teacher meetings.

Treviño said the about $50,000 library renovations were funded through the California Department of Education’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), a tool for local educational agencies to set goals, plan actions and leverage resources to meet those goals to improve student outcomes. Treviño said the hard work and time is worth the commitment to providing Woodlake’s students the best to compete with the best.

“That’s the message that I’m trying to relay to the kids is that kids from Woodlake can accomplish anything,” Treviño said. “I don’t want them to feel like where they come from is a limit to their ability or anything of that nature. Places like our library are really just the beginning of what we want them to experience when they come to our school district…we’re doing everything we can to [help them] believe in themselves that they can be successful.”

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