CITGO INNOVATION ACADEMY
At the CITGO Innovation Academy
Fall is here and with it comes all the awesome scary reads and creepy library displays and some of those traditions that come with Halloween. Like any holiday, Halloween is full of traditions and some of the origins may surprise you, like:
The Celts (from current Ireland) were the first people to wear costumes on Halloween. In A.D., which is when the Celts celebrated, Halloween was known as Samhain and was a time that they believed the veil between the spirit world and the corporal world was porous, allowing the spirits of the recently departed to enter the living world. People wore costumes and masks to ward off any evil spirits during Samhain.
The name “Halloween” comes from the Catholic Church.
In order to incorporate the pagan holidays along with the Christian ones, the Catholic Church chose the period during Samhain as a 3 day holiday. In the 11th Century, the Pope declared October 31 - November 2 to honored the Saints and, during which, early Christians prayed for the recently departed. October 31st became known as “All Hallows Eve” which became “All Hallows Even’” which became “Halloween”.
Jack O’ Lanterns were originally carved from potatoes or turnips.
The name is from the Celtic folk tale “Stingy Farmer Jack” (you can read it here: https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history). There are a lot of “Jack” tales and most involve him tricking the Devil in some way. At some point, Jack was forced to wander purgatory carrying a lump of burning coal from Hell. He carved a lantern from a turnip and used it to guide his soul on its endless journey. In America, pumpkins substituted turnips and they are carved and lit to keep “Jack of the Lantern” away.
Trick or Treating has been around back to Medieval times.
It was sometimes known as “guising” or “souling” but the jist is the same. Poor adults and children would dress up in disguises and beg for food in exchange for songs or prayers. The Irish brought the tradition to America and it evolved into children “begging” for candy in return for not doing a trick on the giver. Aside from a short period during World War II (when sugar was rationed), kids everywhere ring doorbells in the hopes of a KitKat or Milkyway!
All done! So, have a safe and Happy Halloween! Oh, and pick up a scary book to curl up with on All Hallows READ!!!! BLAHHHAHAHAH!!!
Willett, Megan. “13 Facts You Never Knew About Halloween.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Oct. 2013, www.businessinsider.com/13-facts-you-never-knew-about-halloween-2013-10.
History.com Editors. “History of the Jack O' Lantern.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history.
Celebrate Banned Book Week in the CITGO IA!
What if your favorite book of all time was no longer allowed to be read by ANYONE?
How about if there were topics that were off limits for people to read or write about?
How would you feel if you were restricted from reading because of your gender or ethinicity?
Luckily, none of these scenarios are the reality here in the good ol’ USA! Anyone can read what they want and libraries are a big part of providing access to people to the diverse world of books and ideas.
Unfortunately, sometimes people want to restrict access to library materials on the basis of age or for political / religious reasons. Restricting or banning books is a form of censorship that all types of libraries face everyday. The American Library Association helps libraries all over the country face the problem of censorship by providing valuable resources for libraries that face these kinds of challenges. Because of this role, they keep track of libraries and materials that often “challenged” by patrons. Every year they report on the most challenged books from libraries all over the country. This year’s list includes (but is not limited to):
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexi
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
George by Alex Gino
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Night by Elie Wiesel
Books get challenged for reasons that range from inappropriate language to discomfort over others reading about diverse lifestyles and, while most people may mean well, no one should be allowed to restrict the ideas of others or the right to read them.
Stop by the CITGO Innovation Academy and learn more about “Banned Books” and why we celebrate your right to read! And your libraries being the last bastion of intellectual freedom!
Celebrate Spring Poetry and Libraries this month!
There is a lot to love about the month of April. It is traditionally the start of Spring, it’s National Poetry Month and it is the month on the calendar that we celebrate libraries all over the world.
Here at the CITGO Innovation Academy, we are remembering the role of libraries through a “When In Doubt” Harry Potter Library Display. Libraries support communities in many different ways from early literacy outreach to technology classes for senior citizens. You may not know this but…
Libraries provide access. 98% of public libraries offer free wi-fi.
90% help people complete online government forms.
Libraries educate. Research shows that the highest achieving students attend schools with well staffed and well funded school libraries.
Students in high poverty schools are twice as likely to graduate when the school library is staffed with a certified school librarian.
Libraries promote diversity. There were 1.4 billion in person visits to public libraries across the U.S. and 133 million attendees at public library programs in 2016. That’s more than all MLB, NFL and NBA games combined.
Libraries help narrow the achievement gap by offering summer learning opportunities to kids of ALL backgrounds.
Libraries serve communities. 77% of libraries provide online health resources and 60% offer programs to help Americans identify health insurance resources.
73% of libraries provide programs that assist individuals who are applying for jobs, creating resumes and preparing for interviews.
Libraries and librarians have long been champions for your right to gather and share new ideas regardless of your economic situation or your political beliefs. So this month, take a moment and visit one of the 16,568 libraries in the U.S (that’s more libraries than Starbucks!) and celebrate the important role they play in the lives of people all over the world.
For more information about libraries visit: www.ala.org
Here is your chance to impact the CITGO Innovation Academy for years to come!
You may have noticed that throughout the year the CITGO Innovation Academy has been spotlighting the Illinois Teen Readers’ Choice Books and now all that attention is being focused on the Abraham Lincoln Award Voting!
From March to October every year, the Lincoln Committee in the state of Illinois compiles all the nominated books throughout the state. Nominations are made by teacher, librarians but mostly students like you. In October and November all those nominations are compiled into a list that librarians, public and school, pare down to the short list. (Last years list went from 268 nominated titles to 75.) Then in February, librarians and students from all over Illinois come together in the middle of the state to create a list of the best books of the year. Once the list is put together, students spend a year reading as many of the titles as they can. Anyone who has read at least 3 titles gets to vote for their top pick!
Libraries all across Illinois submit the tally to the Lincoln Committee and they notify the author that their book has won our state award and finally the winner is announced to readers!
You may think, “What is the big deal for an author about winning a state award?”
Books don’t stay in print forever. When an author gets their book published, the publisher guarantees a certain number of copies and when they are sold the book might go “out of print”.
BUT…..if a book wins awards, then it may never go out of print (or at the very least it may get reprinted through the original publisher).
So you voting, means that great books stay published and that students years from now will be able to get a copy of a book that you loved when you were in high school! It is a pretty great way of impact students in the future and tell them, “This book meant something to me!”
So...if you have read 3 copies of the books listed or pictured, make sure you stop by the CITGO Innovation Academy and vote. It only takes a moment. And also, ICE CREAM!
See you at the polls!
Try our new online eBook platform!
Your library staff at the CITGO Innovation Academy are so excited over a collaborative project with libraries all over the state called eREAD Illinois. Through the Reach Across Illinois Library System we will have access to thousands of eBooks and audiobooks and you can take advantage of these books right on the technology you carry with you everyday!
Through this platform you can read or listen to best sellers, fiction, nonfiction, young adult and even books in foreign languages. Books remain on your device for a period of 2 weeks and then they disappear. No returns and no fines. You can hold books at are currently checked out, create a favorites list and read and listen to the same book together to improve your reading/language skills.
All you have to do is go to https://lhs210.axis360.baker-taylor.com or click the button on the resources page then click on the SIGN IN button on the upper right hand side of the screen. Sign in with Google and begin browsing for books you would like to read. When you find what you want click either HOLD or CHECKOUT and start reading. It is so simple.
Once you have tried it, stop by the CITGO Innovation Academy and tell us what you think!
Finding time to read what you love or just for fun can be hard for high school and college students, which is why Christmas break is an excellent time to take another look at some of the great “fun” books in the CITGO Innovation Academy!
This year’s Holiday Theme is “These Books are so GREAT you’ll tear through them like wrapping paper!” and it couldn’t be more true. Some of the most popular young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction is currently on display in the large classroom area of the CITGO IA. Here are just a few of the books that are featured:
“Scythe” by Neal Shusterman….Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology. A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.
“Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire….Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations. No Visitors. No Quests. Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. No matter the cost.
“Three Dark Crowns” by Kendare Blake….In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
This is just three of dozens of books that have been recommended by your teachers and library staff as excellent reads for fun while you curled up at home with a warm blanket and cup of hot cocoa!
Stop by and take a peak at what you could be reading over break!
THE WORLD NEEDS YOUR NOVEL!
If you are a reader, you probably have thought at one point or another about how you would have changed or rewritten something you love to read. Or maybe, you are the reader who says, “I wish I had thought of that story….it’s simple but so good!” If you are, then maybe you are not just a reader but a writer, too.
If you have ever imagined yourself writing but are not sure how or where to start, you may want to consider trying NANOWRIMO. Every year, writers all over the world celebrate National Novel Writing Month by participating in the world’s biggest “write-in”. It is completely free, and you don’t need to have any prior writing experience. All you have to have is commitment. You’ll get a platform to write on, a place to put your word count, you can join a “cabin” with fellow writers like you and get great advice and prompts from famous writers in every genre. Every day, you will receive advice and support from your fellow writers. You can even post to the NANOWRIMO boards and have your writing critiqued. If you are over 18 years of age, you can participate in www.nanowrimo.org as an adult writer. If you are under 18, you can participate in www.ywp.nanonwrimo.org and earn your writing chops by completing either 30,000 or 50,000 in the month of November. Feel like that is a bit too much, no worries, you can set your own goal and make it whatever you want. Not sure about writing a novel, try a short story, screenplay or book in verse!
Right now, over 3K people all over the world are writing and supporting each other in telling their stories. Hope to see you on boards!
A lonely girl walks along Archer Avenue in the middle of the night. She is dressed for a special occasion and although you have been taught not to stop for hitchhikers, you can't help but pull over and offer her a ride. She sits in the passenger seat warming her hands on the vent and you offer her your sweatshirt to warm up, her only words a hastily given address not far from where you are driving.
What is it about scary stories that appeal to readers so much?
I have said it before and I'll say it again, Lemont High School Students love to embrace the horror!
It is a scientific fact that whatever you read effects your brain, creates a chemical reaction and definitely makes you smarter and horror stories are no exception. (Time, 2013) They trigger the hypothalamus and our fight or flight response causing a physiological reaction, but there is also a psychological component that can not be ignored! In answering the question, theories abound, but some of the most common, according to Cynthia A. Hoffner and Kenneth J. Levine, who have written profusely in Media Psychology about the subject, are related to adrenaline rush, excitement transfer, a lack of empathy and sensation seeking. (Hussung, Concordia University) Personally, I have always loved the tension of a good thriller and the moment when the "trap" or "monster" has sprung. Luckily I did not have to live through the suspense... the fictional character did!
They say about 10% of readers gravitate to horror stories, but I honestly think, here at LHS, that number is much higher. A good horror story won't stay on the shelves and stays checked out long after the return date. Whether you are a fan or not, fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good, scary, creepy or gory story!
So how does the story above end...?
Your route to the address takes you past the infamous Resurrection Cemetery. Just as you turn to say, "Doesn't the cemetery look creepy at night?", you realize you are looking at an empty seat. She has disappeared.
Till next Halloween!
Hussung, Tricia. (2016) The Psychology of Fear: Exploring the Science Behind Horror Entertainment. Concordia St. Paul: Blog and News Updates. Retrieve from https://online.csp.edu/blog/psychology/psychology-of-fear
Paul, Annie Murphy. (2013) Reading Makes Us Smarter and Nicer. Time.com. Retrieved from http://ideas.time.com/2013/06/03/why-we-should-read-literature/
Already this year, we have had a lot of classes spending time in the new CITGO Innovation Academy!
Teachers have really enjoyed using the classroom space to present to you and then have you relax all around the curved couches and lounge seating. Even though we are just getting the hang of the large classroom space, it is already very popular with classes.
Speech Team has had its first meeting in the large classroom and today is the start of game club! Mr. Aspel’s early morning Entrepreneur’s Club has been in the MakerSpace and will meet there throughout the semester!
Several students have asked about two of the spots that were talked about the most during orientation.
The Coffee Bar is still a work in progress. There have been a few minor snafu’s with the counter, back splash and cabinets; however, the student workers for that space are getting ready to start brewing some steaming hot coffee and will be ready as soon as it is!
The Small Classroom tech is in the final stages of being determined and hopefully we will see our new screens delivered in the coming weeks. As soon as we have the pieces that are going in that space, we will post with pictures
Looking forward to seeing all our students in the CITGO Innovation Academy!
Welcome to your new CITGO Innovation Academy!
This is going to be an exciting year for the library and we are excited about having you in this space!
This year is offerering a Makerspace, Makerlounge, Coffee Bar and an amazing new classroom space for you to learn in. Needless to say, there is a lot to love about the library this year. And there are a lot of changes to go along with it.
Everyone is going to get an orientation this year, I feel like this entry is a prime opportunity to remind everyone of the ground rules.
No food in the carpeted part of the library. Tile only for eating!
No cafeteria food in the library AT ALL. Brown bag lunch only.
This is a working lunch space. Meaning if you come in with food you should be coming in to collaborate on a project, do last minute homework or looking for a semi quiet area to read. If you come in to socialize, you will be sent back to the Commons.
This year the library will be open 7 am to 4 pm on most school days! So please, come and check out the books and relax. Books check out for 2 weeks and we have a ton of amazing works by some of the best authors in young adult and adult fiction.
Looking forward to all the amazing stuff happening here and seeing all of you as a part of it!