Big Cypress Elementary Media CenterMrs. Villaverde, Media Specialist
Our school’s media center encourages students to read independently by implementing the statewide Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award (SSYRA) program. The SSYRA program is co-sponsored by the Florida Department of Education (DOE) and Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME). The goal is to have students read books that are on, and/or above their grade level in order to improve reading fluency and comprehension.
The program is split into two groupings based on grade level: SSYRA Jr. for kinder, 1st and 2nd grade, and SSYRA for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, with each group being comprised of 15 books (click HERE for book lists). Once a student has finished a book, they complete a computer-based test as a check for comprehension. For every 5 eligible books a student passes a test on, they reach a level that has a special incentive. To align with our school’s Olympic-inspired theme of “champions of learning,” we have classified the levels as bronze, silver, and gold:
Bronze (5 books): Students may vote for their favorite book.
Silver (10 books): Students receive a special prize.
Gold (15 books); Students are invited to participate in an end of the year activity.
For each individual book they pass a test on, 3rd, 4th and 5th graders earn a unique "brag tag", a wearable dog tag inspired by the cover of the book.
Another focus of our school’s media center is "makerspaces", areas with various hands-on activities which are aligned with Florida State Standards and allow students to use their ingenuity to design and create. An example is the Lego™ wall and table that have large and small sized pieces to accommodate the ages of our students. Students have the opportunity to use their imagination to decide what they want to build, plan it out, and then create it. We also provide students with optional open-ended challenges to promote problem-solving skills.