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Meet Becky Bouchard, Librarian at Cottonwood Creek

April 9, 2010

Want to meet someone with a passion for gifted children and for reading?  Meet Becky Bouchard, Librarian at Cottonwood Creek Elementary. Within minutes of talking with Mrs. Bouchard, it was clear that she loves her job and the children – and understands our quirky little GT kids. Bouchard believes in interdisciplinary learning and the need for stimulation of both creative and analytical parts of the brain, as well as physical activity. 

Her focus at CCE Library is to meet the needs of all students through books. Her goal is to create lifelong learners and readers.  Bouchard makes the library a retreat for the kids – a safe place where they can feel comfortable.  They come to read, but they also come to play chess and just to talk.

Bouchard has made reading “cool” at Cottonwood by teaching cultural literacy.  They read a lot of fiction and always read the Bluebonnet Books. They do in-depth studies of oral stories versus written word.  The students know all the authors and the books because they have discussions about all of them.

She respects the students’ abilities to read challenging material and books by letting them decide what they want to read – be it biotech, fantasy, or about the Holocaust.  And then, she works to find books to challenge even the highest level reader. Bouchard says the kids tell her what they want to order or they even put them on hold at Barnes & Noble and she buys them for the library. Oh, and did I mention that she reads every fiction book before the kids?

And the reading doesn’t stop at the library.  All the teachers read to their classes 30 minutes daily.  Bouchard works with new teachers to collaborate on literature in their classrooms.  She adds that Dr. Penny is very supportive of reading and has helped to create this culture of reading.

When asked her advice to parents of gifted children, Bouchard said, “A gifted child is a special child with great potential.  Parents must foster the needs of their individual child with an awareness of not only their intellectual needs, but also their social ones. Focus on areas of development such as self understanding, relationship to their peers, social institutions and the culture in which they live.”

How did Bouchard end up with such a passion for gifted kids and reading?  She has 30 years of experience in education – including starting a GT program and building libraries from scratch. She’s GT certified and did her Master’s work on “Counseling the Gifted Female.”

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