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'I do it for the kids': School librarian loves her students to battle their book knowledge

Donna Barron, a librarian at Harrison Elementary in Twin Falls, is going above and beyond to encourage students to get excited about reading.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Learning to read is an important milestone for children. Donna Barron has always wanted to share her love of learning and reading by becoming a school librarian at Harrison Elementary in Twin Falls.

"I can't imagine doing anything different," Barron said.

This year, Barron is doing things a little differently due to the library being closed in accordance with the school's COVID-19 procedures.

"We have been going to their classroom, taking music and PE and library to their classrooms," she explained. "We have a cart. I load it with as many books as I possibly can and they can come and choose from the cart and the good news is, hopefully, after the Christmas break we can come back into the library."

She's also anticipating the Battle of the Books, an annual event put on by the Twin Falls School District and Twin Falls Library. Barron is very passionate about the project.

"I thought it would be great for kids that like to read just like I do," Barron said. "We get a list of books for second through fifth grade and there are ten books per grade. Then we put together teams and the kids sign up and put together their own teams."

The grades then battle against each other using questions about the books. The winning team in each grade competes against teams from other schools at the public library.

"It's a lot of fun and I just love watching kids get excited when they haven't read the book or don't even want to, and then they do and they realize it's such a good book," Barron said. "To hear them tell their friends about that story and watch their little faces get so animated, that's my favorite part."

Getting students interested in reading, especially at the elementary school level, is really important, according to Barron.

"We do have some students that struggle with that and this is kind of a safe space where they can read and get the help they need from their friends and from me," she said. "It gives them that little bit of confidence that yeah, I can do this and that's a really great thing."

Barron received a CapEd Credit Union grant to help with the Battle of the Books at Harrison Elementary School. 

If you would like to nominate a teacher for us to feature email us at innovativeeducator@ktvb.com. Tell us a little about what makes them special and innovative. 

Educators, for more information on submitting an application for a classroom grant, visit their website.

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