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Sports vs. Libraries

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Contrarian G.S. Feet, a prospective school librarian, says there's a reason why communities generally get far more upset about cuts in school sports programs than they do about cuts in school library or media programs: "Sports are more important to schools and communities than school libraries." He explains:

Sports are the ONLY reason many, many students attend school at all. Take away sports and attendance at high risk schools will decline because the former athletes -- often among the lowest socio-economic class -- will have no reason to get up and come to school. ...
Nothing galvanizes a school like a winning team. When's the last time your school held a pep rally and devoted "prime instructional time" to a new shipment of books or new computers for the media center? When's the last time your library produced revenue for the school? Instead, our institutions are a drain on revenue. When's the last time, other than a faculty meeting, that the entire district population was "encouraged" to attend a library event like a bookfair? Never?

Point taken. But perhaps the question is whether this is way things should be, or whether schools and communities have their priorities backwards.

Teacherninja, a ELL teacher in training to be a librarian, responds that it's difficult to argue with the notion that school communities are more devoted to their sports teams than to their library offerings. His hope is that recent news about beloved sports programs being cut will prompt more people to reexamine the way schools are currently funded.


2 Comments

Thanks for the link. And G.S. has a great great blog to get you thinking.

In the world of education there is always a tug-of-war between resources and needs, but the pool from which we can draw is finite. The conflict posted in this blog between sports and library resonates with our current economic situation in which many schools find themselves making decision not based on what is educationally best for the whole child, but based on actuarial assessments of maximizing efficiency while limiting negative impact. We have to find a way to rise above looking at departments inside a school as competing for the same dollar and see us collaborating in shaping our students.

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  • Drew: In the world of education there is always a tug-of-war read more
  • teacherninja: Thanks for the link. And G.S. has a great great read more

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