The American Library Association invites school libraries to apply for a $5,000 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through eighth grade. Any school library program in the United States that serves children in any combination of grades K–8 and is staffed by a state-certified librarian is eligible.
Nominations must be received by May 6, 2016. Applications, award guidelines, and a list of previous winners are available at www.ala.org/jaffarian.
School libraries, public or private, that serve children in grades K-8 are eligible. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2015-16). Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible, and libraries are encouraged to self-nominate. Eligible programs may focus on many subject areas, including social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language, and culture. Programs should broaden perspectives and help students understand the world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.
Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:
- The R.O.A.D. (Research, Observe, Analyze, Discover) I Travel, a genealogy program for eighth-graders at Perry Meridian Middle School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
- Transforming Tales, a program that used fairy takes from around the world to serve as a creative introduction to global studies for third-graders at the Meadowbrook School of Weston (Weston, Massachusetts).
- Who Are We?, a program that challenged seventh- and eighth-graders at the Inter-American Magnet School (Chicago) to explore the individual and collective behavior of human beings in a series of quarterly research projects.
Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle-school libraries.