Photograph of Cindy NewtonCindy Newton has a combined seventeen years of experience teaching and as a school library media specialist; thirteen years as a first grade teacher and tech person at Eastview Elementary in Connersville, IN and four years at Connersville Middle School as the library media specialist. She reminisces that when she made the move from first grade to middle school people didn’t understand why she would change such drastic grade levels and focus. Cindy states, “Seventh graders are not that different from first graders. They are just in bigger bodies with hormones!” She especially enjoys working with her former students who she taught to read and now helps them continue to grow as readers. Her greatest reward is watching a non-reader bloom into a student who now “loves” to read.

Cindy’s elementary experience has been beneficial as she is responsible for the training and support of non-certified media assistants in the corporation’s six elementary schools.

Cindy completed her library media certification in the IUPUI-SLIS media specialist program in 2009. She enjoys collaborating with teachers and assisting with research projects. The larger collaborations typically include the language arts, computer applications, special education, and either the science or social studies teachers working together in one project. Pathfinders are created for these projects and posted to the Library Media Center site, which Cindy created and maintains, along with the Connersville Middle School site.

Cindy has a passion for reading and seeing that passion ignite in her students. She believes that student interaction stimulates that passion and grant writing has enabled many of the interactions. Cindy initiated a TAB, Teen Advisory Board, who was awarded a $300 grant from the Middle Grades Reading Network to carry out their annual Teen Read Month and SSR competition.  In the last 2 years, advanced readers have been awarded $3,000 for 2 trips to travel to a Barnes and Noble bookstore to purchase books of their interest for the media center. One Book, One School reads have become annual occurrences with each student receiving a book through Scholastic Literacy grants covering about 50% of the cost of books. CMS was fortunate in receiving one of the last ever RIF grants this year. The RIF grant will allow each of the 640 students to choose three free books during the school year. Last year, Cindy initiated a Civil War Remembrance Day / RIF distribution with the Social Studies department and community groups. A $1000 grant from the Fayette County Foundation assisted in paying for the re-enactors’ fees. Cindy was just awarded a $10,000 LSTA, Library Service and Technology Act, grant providing equipment for a much needed multimedia center.

Grants however, do not cover all activities. Book fair profits fund “Book Bingo” where classrooms win books for each student. Poetry Slams, art shows, and Lunch in the Library activities cost little to host,

Cindy is a frequent presenter at staff development meetings and has presented sessions at state conferences for ISRA, ICE, and ILF. She has received numerous awards and honors including the Fayette County School Corporation Teacher of the Year and has been named as an IU Armstrong Educator. Cindy has also been chosen as an attendee of a Library of Congress Summer Institute. “As a school librarian, this was an incredible experience to see and hold some of our country’s most cherished books.

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