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    Anita Toney

    I need help moving from an ELA library to a STEAM library since we have been granted a conversion charter to increase student opportunities in college and especially careers in a low-income community is rural Arkansas. We have the wifi, outdated technology in the library, limited space, and a limited budget for 371 students, grades 9-12. I need voices of experience who have gone down this path and studied the research.

    We are a public school, grades 9-12, with an average community population of 2, 302 (2015). In 2014, the median household income of Harrisburg residents was $25,625. Our school is 100% free/reduced lunch. We bus the majority of our students from outlying rural areas. We provide a clothes closet, school supplies, and a weekend food pantry for 32 families. We also partner with community services, businesses and churches to provide a healthy life for our students and their families. We are seeking ways to change the cycle of poverty for our future adults utilizing all our resources and care from a loving, hardworking staff.

    The library has recently received increased broadband to enable WIFI. With our technology, we are changing from a print-bound room with books to a digital learning commons accommodating students and staff as we teach standards and life skills through a 21st Century approach. The Harrisburg High School Library is moving toward a STEAM, student-centered learning environment mirroring 21st Century learning approaches to prepare our students for college and careers.

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