Denver Jewish Day School's Lower Division (grades K-5) has two part-time librarians in the Henry S. & Erna F. Rubinstein Library who bring their educational backgrounds and skills to the job. Brian Howard works with kindergarten through 2nd graders and Rachel Lieber works with students in grades 3 through 5.
Now in his fifth year at DJDS, Brian started his teaching path through the Stanley British Teacher Prep Program. Brian's planned career was television and print media but after coaching basketball camps, he realized working with students was his true passion.
Rachel, in her sixth year at DJDS, is receiving her masters in literacy in April. Rachel says, "I enjoy working with students to develop a love of books, a joy of reading, decoding phrases and gaining comprehension skills. I also find it rewarding to help kids who struggle with reading. My library lessons assist kids to gain real life lessons in what they are reading and see how it relates to their everyday lives."
Rachel further added, "this year we have a reading race in 4th grade. Such a race expands students' interest in different genres. Students at this age tend to read one genre and with this race they are reading books from different continents which forces them to read different genres. This new technique has been widely popular among students."
DJDS is also the recipient of many volunteer hours and book donations for the Rubinstein Library. Librarian Howard stated, "I am so pleased to have the assistance of outstanding community members who are making a nice difference in the lives of our elementary students during library time each week."
Ellen Fliegelman, grandparent of a kindergartner, has made numerous book contributions both last year and this year in the form of age appropriate, nonfiction instructional texts. Some of these books she purchased for the Rubinstein Library and others came from her personal library.
Beth Radetsky taught in Denver Public Schools for 20 years in kindergarten, 2nd grade, ESL classes, as a reading specialist and for Gifted & Talented classes. Howard added, "Beth helps out wherever needed, drawing on her many years of classroom experience." Beth stated, "I love working at Denver JDS. The students are delightful and very inquisitive. I am able to work with them in small groups every week and continue to use my teaching skills."
Sherry Stark, grandparent of a second and fourth grader, has given input on the overall appearance and organization of the library as she once was part owner of a local children's book store. She works in the Rubinstein Library every Wednesday. Sherry mentioned, "After I had my own children's book store, I then had my own gift basket business for 10 years, followed by working at The Bookies Bookstore. My love of children and books has long been part of me. Now I am enjoying work in the Rubinstein Library as we organize and spruce up the library and make it a really fun place for all the kids. I love the school and being a part of it. Brian is great and we are constantly brainstorming ways to make the library a modern and enjoyable place for the kids to learn, read and have fun. "
The Rubinstein Library computer catalog lists 10,000 books that meet the needs of our 220 students in grades K-5. Students have library class time every other week to learn about how to use a library, check out books, do research and find interesting books to read. Librarian Brian Howard also spends time in classrooms working with students with reading skills. Howard stated, "over the last few years we have made a concerted effort to remove old, outdated books from our shelves and get the most current fiction and non fiction books to be used by our eager learners. I am very proud of how the Rubinstein Library looks these days and know that students really enjoy their time spent in the library."