In 2013, President Obama issued the ConnectED challenge to transform teaching and learning through digital connectivity and content. In 2015, he extended the challenge to both publishers and public libraries, and Hennepin County Library signed on in partnership with Hopkins Public Schools.
Hopkins is one of 54 communities nationwide to participate in the ConnectED initiative, which the Library is calling its Partners in Education Project.
By the end of the 2015-16 school year, all students in Hopkins Public Schools will have a library card and know how to use it. Staff from Hennepin County Library are issuing cards one building at a time, starting with the junior highs followed by the high school and elementary schools.
With Hopkins teachers and media specialists, library staff are teaching students to access library books, music, DVDs, databases and downloadable eBooks, articles and magazines. Hopkins students are also gaining a greater awareness of additional library assets such as after-school programming, employment and spaces.
"We are pleased to be partnering with Hopkins Public Schools in response to the President's challenge," said Lois Langer Thompson, Hennepin County Library director. "Library cards support student access and achievement, and it's been a joy to watch Hopkins students discover their power."
Hopkins was chosen as a partnering school district because of its robust 1:1 digital environment at the junior high and high school levels, as well as access to technology at the elementary level. Hopkins has also invested in its media specialists and has a librarian at each of its schools, making the partnership seamless.
To learn more about this initiative, watch this short video created by Hopkins Public Schools. More information about Hopkins Public Schools can be found at www.hopkinsschools.org.