E.T. Booth Middle School media specialist Amanda Graves doesn’t wait for students to visit her library.
She dons a biker vest and peddles a custom tricycle down the school’s halls to deliver books to them as the “Book Biker.” She stocks a vending machine inside the school with books. She fills a Little Free Lending Library on the school’s campus with books they can borrow at any hour. She surprises them by appearing in costume – including an inflatable dinosaur – to remind them of books’ power to spark imagination.
“She is one of the most creative individuals I have had the pleasure of working with,” Principal Todd Sharrock said.
Graves’ enthusiasm for literacy and dedication to the learning led to the recent announcement she is the Cherokee County School District’s 2021 Media Specialist of the Year.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower made the surprise presentation to Graves, who now advances to represent CCSD in the regional competition, from which she could move on to the state contest.
“Amanda is a dreamer and a doer,” Hightower said. “She not only embeds creativity in all she does, but she also backs it up with knowledge gained from her years of experience and studies in her field.”
Graves was awarded an iPad tablet and plaque, with the costs sponsored by Credit Union of Georgia. She also will be congratulated by the Cherokee County School Board and Superintendent of Schools through a virtual recognition at the March School Board meeting.
All CCSD school media specialists were eligible for the award, and Graves was selected as the winner by a judging committee of retired educators and community leaders.
“I believe that student engagement is more than walking between the bookshelves,” Graves said. “It is my vision that media specialists and media centers have the ability to be a true change agent within their schools.”