GOOD NEWS: Gwin Oaks' Amolo named media specialist of year

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Gwinnett County educator known for her passion for reading was named the 2013 Gwinnett County Public Schools Library Media Specialist of the Year.

The honor was presented to Sharon Amolo of Gwin Oaks Elementary in the Brookwood Cluster.

"She has been instrumental in the success of our school through numerous school-wide practices -- the most important of course is focusing on the importance of reading every day," said Tonya Burnley, principal of Gwin Oaks Elementary. "Mrs. Amolo's belief in the value of reading resonates in all she does. She is one of the most dynamic teacher leaders I have had the pleasure of working with."

As a reading enthusiast, Amolo has developed a number of programs to support Gwin Oaks Elementary students in their quest for success.

"The most important aspect of my job is to instill a lifelong love of reading and thereby increasing student learning," Amolo said.

One of those initiatives is the school-wide reading program she started 10 years ago. Each year, she creates a different theme requiring students to read 20 minutes each day at home while they simultaneously learn about the theme.

Since its start, student participation has increased from 65 to 95 percent.

Amolo also engages students through technology, using Skype for visits with authors.

"During these visits, students have an in-depth discussion with the author about the characters, plot and the author's life," she said. The students prepare for the visits by reading and writing about their books during their book clubs.

For her contributions to the library media field, Amolo was named Gwinnett's Library Media Specialist of the year. She was chosen by a GCPS library media committee based on her promotion of reading and literature and her role as a leader.

Frank Reddy writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.