03-28-2020  5:44 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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Vote by May 19: Oregon’s Primary Election Continues as Planned

Oregon’s vote-by-mail system keeps May Primary on schedule

A Black Woman Is Leading The Charge To Create A Vaccine For The Coronavirus

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her team have begun running the first human trials of the vaccine in Seattle

Make a Mask & Support a Whole Community

Cascadia will be coordinating a mask donation project for community members who are willing to get out their sewing machines and create homemade masks

Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package Covers 7 Major Areas

Oregon State Senator James I. Manning Jr. has provided a summary of what the Federal Coronavirus Stimulus Package looks like


Waterfront Blues Festival Cancelled for 2020

Organizers say the decision to cancel the popular festival was not taken lightly ...

NAACP Calls COVID-19 Stimulus Package a Necessary Step, but Calls Upon Congress to Do More

The NAACP says in providing future relief, Congress must prioritize people first, not corporations ...

CARES Act Must Prioritize Nation’s Most Vulnerable Communities

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says the new bill puts the interests of corporations above the burdens faced by...

33 Attorneys General Warn Amazon, Facebook, Ebay, Craigslist: You Aren’t Exempt from Price Gouging Laws

The letters list several examples of price gouging including a Craigslist ad selling a bottle of hand sanitizer for 0 ...

OHSU Hotline to Answer COVID-19 Questions

Patients who call the hospital will have the option to be routed directly to the new hotline ...

Idaho rifle club members qualify for Junior Olympics

MERIDIAN, Idaho (AP) — The difference between winning and losing a championship in the extremely precise world of air rifle is down to a few thousandths of an inch. At the Meridian Optimist Junior Rifle Club, a number of teenagers are pushing their limits and taking their skills to national...

Suspicious substance found in Coffee Creek prison mail

WILSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — An administration building at an Oregon prison was evacuated Friday when workers found an envelope in the mail room with an unknown substance inside. The mail room at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville was secured after the envelope was found...

The Latest: 2 Madison Square Garden boxing cards called off

The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak's affect on sports around the globe (all times EDT):10 p.m.Two boxing cards at Madison Square Garden have been called off because of the coronavirus outbreak.A few hours after announcing the fights would proceed without crowds, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...


The ACA Has Never Been More Critical

Today I'm honoring the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law. ...

NAACP/Black Community: A Model for Resiliency

As America enters perhaps the most uncertain period in modern history, we will all be tested in new and unpredictable ways. ...

What the Government Can Do Now to Lessen the Impact of COVID-19

Dr. Roger Stark says during this pandemic the administration must give states more flexibility ...

The Homelessness Crisis – We Are Better Than This

Julianne Malveaux says this is not just about homelessness. It is about an economic crisis that has made affordable housing, jobs and economic security difficult to obtain ...


Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader and MLK aide, dies at 98

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first black president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.For more than four decades...

Civil rights leader, MLK aide Joseph Lowery dies at 98

ATLANTA (AP) — The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a veteran civil rights leader who helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and fought against racial discrimination, died Friday, a family statement said. He was 98.A charismatic and fiery preacher,...

The Latest: Singapore penalizing social distancing violators

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.TOP OF THE HOUR:— U.S. leads the world in confirmed...


Review: In 'Uncorked,' a full-bodied coming-of-age tale

The wine movie is not exactly known for a bouquet of tasting notes. From “Wine Country” to “Bottle Shock,” they are usually light, amiable movies that amble through sunny fields of vines. “Sideways,” of course, is the choice vintage, but most come and go...

Country singer Joe Diffie tests positive for coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A publicist for Joe Diffie says the country singer has tested positive for COVID-19.Scott Adkins released a statement to The Associated Press from Diffie that said he is under the care of medical professionals and is receiving treatment.“My family and I are...

Stars of 'Contagion' reunite for a PSA

NEW YORK (AP) — The stars of the 2011 virus thriller “Contagion” — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19.Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with...


Students provide sanitizers to daily workers to fight virus

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — They toil on the fringes, without any job security or set hours or decent wages....

With virus, cherished Mideast traditions come to abrupt halt

BAGHDAD (AP) — Under the sign “Take out only” and a tall bottle of antiseptic by his side,...

'Choppy waters' await Navy as virus strikes aircraft carrier

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy, the military service hit hardest by the coronavirus, scrambled to contain its...

Guinea voters back change that could extend president's rule

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Guinea has voted to change its constitution, according to provisional results from a...

Indian authorities send buses to take unemployed to villages

NEW DELHI (AP) — Authorities sent a fleet of buses to the outskirts of India's capital on Saturday to meet...

British Prime Minister Johnson tests positive for virus

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first...

By Brian Stimson of The Skanner News

This is the second part of a two-part series.

Despite evidence that says a well-funded and well-stocked school library is a key component of academic success, many of Portland's schools lack the funds to keep their libraries open five days a week. Others don't have money for new books.
While funding continues to be a major problem, there is a network of support available from the legislature and the Multnomah County Library – although not nearly enough to keep many school libraries open five days a week.

Without a Plan
Susan Stone, Portland Public Schools' Teacher on Special Assignment for libraries, says the big problem for libraries is a lack of a district-wide plan. Up until last year, a five-year plan attempted to create a framework for the future of libraries. That plan has since been shelved.
Currently, each principal controls how libraries are staffed; the central district office has no say in whether a school chooses to spend more money on a licensed librarian or save a bit by hiring an assistant to run the library.
Stone says there are a good number of quality assistants who serve their students well, but she likens it to a dental hygienist and a dentist. They both serve important roles, she says, but only a dentist can decide when a root canal is needed.
This year, libraries across the state were given a show of support – albeit token – from the state legislature. House Bill 2586 authorized the Oregon Department of Education to award grants to school library programs and requires schools to have a goal of implementing a strong school libraries program. But if that wording sounds lukewarm, you're probably right. That bill includes no requirements and no money. Coincidently, the number of grants issued this school year was zero.
"The school improvement fund wasn't funded this biennium," said Suzanne Smith of the Oregon Department of Education.

The Heels of a Giant
Like many librarians and assistants in the district, Madison's Nancy Sullivan regularly collaborates with teachers to arrange collections around what's being taught in the classroom. Much of the zine collection is provided by the students themselves and the poetry slam each April draws bigger and bigger audiences every year.
"Kids prepare for that," she said.
Over at Rosa Parks Elementary, Paula Izuagie is the only person on the school's staff to work with classes as they visit the library, check out books, re-shelve books and put on the annual Scholastic Book Fair. She says it's a two-person job and is lucky to get volunteer help. She is the acting librarian – yet she's called an "assistant."
"The kids love coming to the library and they love new books," she said, but the only new book money she gets is from the book fair and donations.
So it's ironic that Portland Public sits in a city that is home to Multnomah County Library, one of the best library systems in the country. But Stone and others say it could be a reason that the school library is seen as an expendable part of the school budget. With such a great public library system, why would each school need one?
Jackie Partch, who has worked with the county's School Corps program for the last 13 years, says she hasn't heard anyone outright say that, but it's been on her mind for years.
"What we do is something different," she says.
As a School Corps member, she travels regularly to different schools and teaches students how to navigate the county's systems and access online databases that most school libraries cannot afford.
But she says the Multnomah County Library is no substitute for a well-funded and well-staffed school library. Much like law and medical libraries cater to their students, a public library won't carry the specialized reading material that individual schools require, says Stone.
That said, Multnomah County does supplant some of the services lacking from individual schools. Teachers are given special checkout cards and are able to borrow more books for longer periods of time.
Daniel Menche, an assistant who until this year served as Roosevelt High School's head librarian, created a partnership with the St. John's Library to reduce or cancel fines for students who came to him for help.
Partch also regularly puts together special book collections for teachers trying to find more detailed information about subjects not offered at their school. She says it's a win-win for everyone.
"It gets our books in use," she said, and it ensures that at least some teachers and students are not doing without.



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