A South Huntington parent has won the support of actor and comedian Adam Ferrara in her campaign to persuade her school district to add a certified librarian full time to the Silas Wood sixth-grade center.
Kristina Uihlein Holzweiss, who is Long Island director of the New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education, has been lobbying the district, saying that, of all the districts in the Western BOCES jurisdiction, only South Huntington lacks the fulltimer she says the students need.
“Our children deserve a fulltime certified librarian,” Holzweiss said, “And it is an issue of equity when we’re competing with other districts for jobs and scholarships.” She said that certified librarians, rather than classroom teachers tasked to handle library duties. “We help (students) analyze and make them critical thinkers,” She said. “We want our kids to be empowered.”
This week, Ferrara, a 1984 Walt Whitman graduate who has starred in such shows as Nurse Jackie, responded to her request for support, and wrote a letter to the district, praising the education he received and the importance of the school library he was able to use.
Of the lack of a fulltime librarian, he added, “This means an entire generation of students have been robbed of the opportunity to fall in love with getting lost in literature or do not have the skills required to use library resources in the most efficient way. I can attest to the fact that over the course of my career as and actor and comedian, I have spent countless hours researching in preparation for a performance. If it were not for (librarian) Mrs. Thrasher, I am not sure I would have been able to do this type of work.”
South Huntington School Superintendent Dr. Vito D’Elia said he is addressing her concerns and agrees that a librarian would be of value. “We are proposing a .6 librarian to support our library and research component,” he said.
The Board of Education meets Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the district office.