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National School Library of the Year Application 2021: Letters of Endorsement

This is the electronic portfolio for the National School Library of the Year application for 2021 for Calvert County Public Schools.


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Letter of Support - Dr. Daniel Curry, Superintendent

Link to Letter In Google Drive

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Click on the image of the letter or link above the image to view the letter full size.

Letter of Support - Ms. Carrie Willson, Executive Director, Calvert Library

Link to Letter in Google Drive

calvert library image

Click on the image of the letter or this LINK to view the letter in Google Drive.

Letter of Support - Mr. Sandy Walker, Supervisor of Equity and Diversity

Link to Letter in Google Drive

image of Sandy Walker Letter

Click on the Image or this LINK to view the letter in Google Drive.

Letter of Support - Audrey (Middle School Student)

book shelf


The library is amazing! There are so many books to read and they are all for older kids. There's also a book club where we read a book we might not have ever picked up on our own and we talk about the book with people who want to do the book club. The library is a place where you can have lots of fun.



Letter of Support - Chloe (High School)

images coming out of a book

Entering high school is never anybody’s fondest memory. The overwhelming sense of confusion, the unfamiliar faces, and the introduction to challenging academics is enough to make anybody experience stress at an alarming rate. As I started my high school career, most things were uncertain but the one thing I was sure of was how to find the library.

As the bell would ring after 4th period each day I would stumble through the hallways silently making my way to the large open space lined with book-covered walls. This comforting environment was where I would spend a majority of my lunches. Not only was I provided with a quiet place to study, but in doing so met those who I continue to call my best friends today.

While the Huntingtown high school media center provided an inviting atmosphere, this is merely what drew me in to recognize the amazing resources it had to offer. On the Library Learning Commons (The media center’s website) every student is provided with reliable information through databases, in-depth explanation about the college application process, applications to prepare for testing, and even de-stressing activities to benefit our mental health. Every time I access this website it is sure to have been updated that same day to keep students informed and up to date with what is in-stock at our schools virtual library. Virtual learning has been a challenge for everybody involved this year, but with the introduction of curb-side book pick up the HHS media center has been putting the interest of it’s students first by providing access to learning materials no matter the circumstances. It is the dedication and attention to detail shown by the Huntingtown High School Media center that show its priorities truly lie with its students and ultimately the community. There is no award prestigious enough to give back to Mrs. Younkers and the HHS media team what they have provided to us.


Letter of Support - Aaliyah (High School Student)

open book with flowers

To Whom it May Concern:

     My name is Aaliyah Gilner, I’m Fifteen and a tenth grader at PHS. 

     Ever since I first learned how to sing my ABC’s I’ve loved reading and writing (well, trying to anyway. We all know at that point I was still learning my vowels, and the difference between two, to and too, etc.…). If you check my records, you’ll find that I have been one of the most advanced readers of my class. Learning things ahead of time and excelling in the English Language. That lead to my vocab growth, which to this day is still expanding infinitely. 

     All my life I’ve had the dream of someday being a famous author like J.R.R. TOLKEIN, J.K. ROWLING, Stephanie Meyers, Suzanne Collins, you get my point. And it’s because of the school libraries that offered me the knowledge I so desperately craved that I succeeded in writing my first novel. Like a vampire craves blood = Books are the blood for me. I completed my reading and understanding of the entire Marriam Websters dictionary at eleven with the guidance of my teachers and librarians. 

     Libraries have always felt like a second home to me. No matter where I am, I can just walk into a library and feel welcomed. To me walking into a library is like walking into my own little sliver of paradise. PHS’s library was no different. Although it is small compared to some I’ve been in (Hopefully we can change that if we win this contest) and has mostly books I’ve already breezed through (I’ve been complaining about that to nearly every library I’m a member of, so that’s nothing new. there are just never enough books for me to read!) It’s cozy and peaceful. And the librarians make it all the more welcoming. 

     I’ve checked out the large majority of the library’s books at least once, so I have gotten to know the faculty who monitor the library quite well, having spent nearly every lunch period cooped up in my corner reading. They’ve even accepted me as one of the exceptional few who they allow to check out more than five books at a time because that small number only tends to last me a day or two. Mrs. Jenkins from day one has treated me with kindness and encouraged me to expand my horizons and follow my dream of writing. She’s even given me unlimited access to the computers this year so I can continue working on my habit of writing multiple novels (which I have yet to get published). Every day she’s always waiting for me to show up with my stack of books with a laugh, knowing I’ll be back the next day for more. Ms. Hearth and Mrs. Shirley have even made it to the point where they automatically recognize me as “Gilner”. Oh, and I can’t leave out Mrs. Allen of course! Even now at the schools internet café, Mrs. Allen continues to pay me small visits (providing we follow the COVID-19 safety rules) and always manages to put a smile on my face, and believe me when I say that is not an easy thing to do.

     I can even remember when I was told I wasn’t limited to only five books. It was March 2020. As usual I came over to the group of ladies sitting patiently behind the desk, grabbing some books to last me the planned break (which we never came back to school from due to the pandemic). Mrs. Jenkins held onto the books for me and told me I could go get more. Much to their surprise I returned with several more books. Their laughter was so loud it was the students who had to shush at the librarians. Even now it still makes me laugh.

     It is for these reasons I am beyond happy to recommend Patuxent High School for the National School Library program of the year. It is both my honor and my pleasure to be writing this letter of recommendation for my favorite of all libraries, which not only displays a strong work ethic and admirable tolerance for the quick readers (such as myself) who are constantly asking for more material. One of the greatest qualities is that no matter who the students is, the PHS media center faculty is right there ready to assist and encourage them through any problems,and treat every student as one might treat a brilliant scholar. They do not require extrinsic motivation to perform at their best, and that is one of the reasons I love the PHS Media center.

Aaliyah Gilner

10th Grade

Patuxent High School


Anonymous Student Letter

tree book railing

I have been living with in Calvert County for 6 years now and I have never been so happy to read a book in my entire life. Before I moved here to Calvert County I was so limited on books. I couldn’t read a lot of things because I was so limited on books before I moved down here. I was so behind in English and I couldn’t keep up with the other kids my age because I couldn’t find an enjoyable book to read and I never found anything good and exciting to read. When I was in third grade, which is when I moved down to Calvert County, I was introduced to a variety of books, which helped me further enhance my language and be able to catch up with the other kids my age.

My elementary school librarian was always giving me book suggestions and telling me to take quizzes on the book I read to see if I was enjoying the book. I started to read more throughout elementary school as my librarian gave me more suggestions and options, but I started falling back on reading because I keep reading the same genre and styles of books. I wanted something new, something that would pique my interest more in reading and that’s exactly what happened when I got into middle school.

The first thing I did when I got to middle school was check out the library, to see what kind of books were available for me to read. The librarian was amazing, and I really had a good connection with them. I would be able to talk about my book I was reading and say how I can connect with the character’s situations and struggle’s in most of the books. The library was always my little safe place to go whenever I felt down or angry because I know the librarian would accept me there and they would always allow me to pick up a book and be able to connect with the book, characters, and sometimes even the author, the library was always my special place, it was like another universe I could disappear in. I wanted to be able to continue all the emotions I was feeling when I was in a library throughout high school.

Even though we are virtual due to the covid pandemic, it wasn’t stopping my high school librarian, Mrs. Jenkins, from getting library books to her students and I wasn’t letting virtual learning stop me from going to the library either. The librarian is a wonderful person, and they make reading even more fun and engaging even when being apart. I have loved all the books I have gotten so far from the library. So far have gotten read nine books from the library and all of them have been wonderful and has really helped me connect to the world of reading. Though I haven’t been able to see or feel the library’s wonderful energy and have that library emotions I normally have when I’m in the library, having a book from the school’s library gives me some of those library emotions, even when at home.

As a student who has had some struggles over the years and can’t compare to anyone, the school libraries mean a lot to me. It’s a place where I can run away from the real world and open myself up to another universe. Libraries are a big part of my school life and it what makes me, me. The librarians in Calvert County are just the most wonderful people ever. They really make me feel like I belong, and they have such a passion for books and students. The librarians want to make sure students like me have an enjoyable book to read, one that they will enjoy and that students are open to more options and languages in the world of, not only reality, but the world of reading as well.

Since moving to Calvert County the school's libraries and librarians have always been a special part of me and they have really opened the world for me, and it has made me who I am today.

Letter of Support - Taya (High School)

computer screen

Media centers are places for students to access different resources and learn how to succeed and study in both academic and personal pursuits. The Huntingtown High School library, however, goes beyond that for its students. Not only have I been able to discover and read a plethora of engaging and relevant books, as well as utilize the various materials offered for student use, but throughout my school career the library has been a familiar place to go to study on my own, tutor other students, learn about useful resources, and attend entertaining meetings and displays. Mrs. Younkers has ensured that the library is a safe and friendly place to spend time and learn.

Through high school, every time my English teacher told the class we would be going to the library next time, I was always excited. I am an avid reader and Mrs. Younkers always has great books on display and fun, interactive lessons to participate in. Media center teachers are often delegated the “boring” lessons about citing sources or internet safety, but Mrs. Younkers always made sure to make the content interesting through internet scavenger hunts, escape room activities, and book dates. I remember after one lesson when we cycled through tables which each had various books of specific genres on them, and read a preview of a book at each table to find one we were interested in. By the end of the period, I had a stack of books too big to fit in my backpack.

Another program Mrs. Younkers organized was our school Read Woke initiative. Teachers sponsored different relevant and timely books and hosted book clubs for interested students. Each year the library hosted this event I read multiple books for it, which exposed me to some of my favorites, including the Kite Runner, Bloodsworth, Dear Martin, and The Hate U Give, among others. This activity promoted tolerance and diversity, as students were exposed to different points of view through the books they read.

Besides access to these books, the library has also been incredibly helpful in providing different resources and databases. For a 9th grade research paper, staff in the library helped me find relevant sources through different databases, taught me how to ensure the validity of my research, and properly cite documents in my paper. These skills were invaluable, and I still utilize them today.

Personally, Mrs. Younkers is one of my favorite staff members at Huntingtown High School. She is very sweet, and always willing to help students. Last spring when the news first broke that our school would be closing for COVID, she suggested that I browse the library and take home a pile of books so I wouldn’t be bored during quarantine because she knew how much I loved reading. This consideration is characteristic of Mrs. Younkers, as she always goes the extra mile for her students. Over the summer, she revamped the library so students would be able to access materials online and gave a lesson to English classes to ensure we all knew how to use the new system.

In conclusion, the HHS library is amazing, especially thanks to Mrs. Younkers’ dedication and passion for her jobs, as well as her care for her students. I can’t imagine anyone being more deserving of commendation.


Letter of Support - Hannah (Middle School Student)

books on a shelf

To Whom It May Concern,

                               My name is Hannah. I go to Plum Point Middle School and I am writing to tell you what my school library means to me. I came to this school in sixth grade knowing no one and being very alone. The library became a sort of second home to me were I could walk in and just be myself. I can count on Mrs. Remington, the librarian, to be there for me and to listen to my thoughts. I can depend on her to make me laugh, and to answer my questions. The library is a place where I feel comfortable at school.

   I also like the library because of the databases on it's website. There are many great tools on there to help students learn new things and research interesting topics. 

   The library also has a great website to check out books during this isolation caused by the pandemic. You can get books to read on your device, or come and pick them up at the school, where they are already taken off the shelves and checked out by Mrs. Remington.

   In conclusion, I know that if I need resources for an assignment, a friendly conversation, or just a good book, my library is the place to go.



Letter of Support - Breanna (High School)

Breanna's Letter of Support

Will open in Google Drive

heart made of books


black and white book shelf

CCPS School Libraries

         Throughout my whole school career in CCPS, I have had the pleasure to meet many incredible librarians. I have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Gott and Mrs. Fitzpatrick throughout my elementary school career at St. Leonard Elementary School. They were super helpful and so nice. In Middle School, I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Taeschener and Mrs. Drake. They were super helpful when doing projects that needed databases and research from books. Lastly, I am super honored to have met Mrs. Jenkins, she is not only the best librarian out there, but she is also a mentor and teacher-friend of mine. She is so involved in the Patuxent High School Library and makes these kids her first priority.

         Now, my experiences in CCPS libraries have probably been the best they could get. The librarians in CCPS are a different breed in a good way! They prioritize students and their needs to the best of their ability. Their jobs range from them answering questions to helping students with huge projects that need many resources. Whatever you need, they got!

         With Patuxent High School’s Library Department, I got the pleasure to be a part of a movement known as “Read WOKE”. Read Woke is a movement in which students, peers, teachers, and adults learn about how to protect the rights of everyone despite their race, color, religion, disabilities, and more. In this program, all who participated read a book and then presented it to a group of students and teachers at the Calvert Public Library. I read the book “Everything Everything” and presented it to this group. Although I was nervous about presenting this book, this was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had. I learned so much about other books including “The Hate You Give” and “Vox”, learned the importance of equality throughout our school system, and had many takeaways. I would never have had this opportunity if it were not for CCPS School Libraries, Patuxent High School, and specifically, Mrs. Khristi Jenkins :)!

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