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Havasupai Elementary School Revamps Library

A library with bookshelves lining the walls and comfortable seating.

Students at the Bureau of Indian Education operated Havasupai Elementary School located in Supai, Arizona, are enjoying a refurbished library this academic year. The school’s kindergarteners through eighth graders have a new space for literacy and learning.

Education Program Specialist Kimberly Redmond Carr, Ed.D., led efforts to declutter and reorganize a storage space that once held the school’s library and return it to its former purpose. Planning and renovations took nearly a year with a significant portion of the cleaning and restoration work happening during the summer leading up to the 2023-24 school year.

“Of course, having a place where students can enjoy books and improve literacy is something that all schools strive for, right? On behalf of the Havasupai children, we wanted that,” Carr said.

The updates include painting the walls, adding rugs and furniture, including tables for tutoring areas, and installing new bookshelves that line the walls and divide the room into functional spaces. The school also added new modular furniture, including couches, chairs with built-in laptop stands, floor chairs and more.

“They are really the kind of classroom resources that allow for the type of teaching and learning we want today,” Carr said. “The seats are flexible so kids can wiggle or turn around. There are tall seats and tall tables or floor tables with little seats so students can sit on floor. All the seats are comfortable and flexible and easy to move around.”

The staff completed the refurbished library with the help of Marvin Charley, facility operations specialist for the BIE Division of Facilities and Safety Management. The area with a new blue color pallet houses cultural resources, books, and other student learning and library materials. The school continues to build the library’s book collection to provide reading materials for all abilities and interests.

Carr wants to build an academic schedule so that students in kindergarten through eighth grade have dedicated library time as a weekly special class.

“We’re looking forward to using the library to engage kids in all things literacy,” Carr said. “It’s a great resource, and we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to buy the furniture and the opportunity to improve this space as part of Havasupai Elementary School.”

Find out more about Havasupai Elementary School at https://www.bie.edu/schools/directory/havasupai-elementary-school.

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