First grade students in the Delaware City Schools Online Academy took a virtual field trip to the Delaware County District Library’s Delaware Main Library Friday.
Carlisle Elementary School first grade teacher Catherine Keller, who is working as a virtual academy teacher this year, said she wanted to give students a field trip of sorts.
“I thought it would be fun to take my first graders somewhere, and what better place than the library,” Keller said. “It needed to have WiFi, so I considered my options. Students need a place to get great books, and I wanted them to see the library is now open and it is free to get a library card.”
Keller added she did her usual morning greeting and surprised her students with a change of venue.
“Students knew we would be wearing our costumes this morning on our live teaching call, but they were surprised to see I was not coming to them live from my basement,” Keller said. “I have to say, it felt funny standing outside the library talking and singing with my class on a computer screen as people walked by, but I knew the experience would be worthwhile.”
Keller spoke to students outside before going indoors and leading them on a tour along with Andy Bartlett, the Delaware Main Library’s Youth Services leader.
“We have an amazing library here in Delaware, and I thought they need to be brought inside to really experience it,” Keller said. “I want them to keep getting great books into their hands while they are being taught virtually. It is so important. I think they need to learn that when you go to your local library, the possibilities are endless.”
Keller told students about the variety of books at the library and all the different formats they come in, including audiobooks and all the subjects they can cover.
“The staff is so friendly and our tour guide, Andy, gave us a warm welcome,” Keller said. “He engaged my students the whole time, and they were excellent listeners, keeping their mute buttons on until the end when they all thanked him. So cute!”
Bartlett also told students how to get a library card and showed them the different sections of the library.
“I am always telling my students that books take you places, and they can really experience this at the library,” Keller said.
This is not the first time she’s done a bit of traveling with her class. Keller said she’s shown her students prerecord trips of her family apple picking, walking around Ohio Wesleyan, and taking a trip to Nashville.
“Kids love to see places, especially ones that they can relate to,” Keller said. “I want to give them the sense of exploring interesting places, especially now while we are home all trying to navigate our way during the pandemic. I am grateful that my job allows me to be creative and do fun things like this.”
Keller said she wants to take her students on more trips, but she added it all depends on access to WiFi.
“I just need to find places where I can connect live to really engage the class,” she said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.