Sep 24, 2008 Ami Olson Uncategorized
To those who did not grow up using a personal computer, computer classes at the kindergarten level may seem a little advanced.
But for Aneisa Joyce, the new Walberta Park Primary school, they are just part of the Westhill Central School District curriculum.
Joyce, the new Walberta Park librarian, is responsible not only for teaching kindergarteners, first and second graders about the library, but also serves as the computer teacher for the K-2 school, and she sees the importance of introducing kids to books and technology early.
“The earlier we start with kids, the earlier we can get them comfortable and acclimated, the better off they’re going to be in the future,” she said. Joyce believes one of her jobs as librarian is to help students become independent learners, and part of that lies in their having as many tools at their disposal as possible, including the library and computers.
Joyce joined the Westhill Central School District this year after spending 3 years at Lakeshore Elementary in the North Syracuse district, where she worked as librarian for grades four and down.
“I’ve always admired the library system here at Westhill,” Joyce said. “I love that I’m going to be combining the literacy with the technology.”
Joyce said that when students leave Walberta Park for Cherry Road School, where they will go through third and fourth grades, they will have been on the internet, delivered a public speaking project, and used software programs like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint – all through library class.
“I can still remember a time when we didn’t have computers. We forget that computers are just a tool and we can use them to help kids learn,” Joyce pointed out. She noted how the keyboard is useful in helping kids learn letter and number identification, as well as learning to type.
Though she is only a few weeks into the new school year, one thing Joyce has noticed about the Westhill community is how welcomed she felt.
“I just love how welcoming it was here, and how warm and friendly the staff and community has been,” said Joyce. “It’s nice when you’re new to feel like you’re embraced by the place that you are at.”
A West Genesee graduate who grew up in Camillus, Joyce earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and management and spent five years in the business world before returning to school to chase her dream of working in a library.
She now holds a master’s degree in information and library science from Syracuse University.
“I really like kids, and I really like the library – why not combine the two together,” Joyce remembers thinking when she decided to go back to school. Her love for reading is deeply rooted: “I remember my grandma taking me to the library when I was a little kid, and my mom was a reading teacher so I learned to read at a young age.”
One of the things Joyce enjoys most about her job is reaching other young readers and being able to cultivate their interests.
“I love how they are excited and they’re enthusiasm is genuine. They don’t feel the need to repress it yet, and so if they love butterflies, they just love butterflies and they are not worried that other people might feel that it’s weird to love butterflies,” Joyce said. “You can harness that enthusiasm and really motivate them with their interests, their desire for new things.”