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Strategic Partnerships Help Our Students Learn, Grow and Thrive

Superintendent Joe Gothard

Dear Colleagues,

This past week I had a front-row seat in the unveiling of a continued partnership between Saint Paul Public Schools and the Saint Paul Public Library. The setting was at the Rice Street Branch with students from Crossroads Science and Montessori. We gathered to promote the “Library Go Program,” which gives virtual library cards to all SPPS students. Last year, more than 100,000 items including ebooks were checked out using Library Go accounts.

The program brings three of my greatest passions together: my love for our students, my appreciation for our community partnerships and reading. I was fortunate enough as a child to have access to great public libraries and a summer bookmobile full of invaluable resources. I am proud to lead an effort to bring these resources to our students.   

Many of us are coming off a long weekend spent away from work, participating in professional development, catching up with friends, family and fall chores. The time I spent reading with students at the library last week helped me recharge, because it put me in the middle of the people who matter most in our organization - our students.

I came away with a renewed sense of purpose and focus. Our kids have a way of bringing that out in me, and I know many of you feel the same way.

Similarly, the library event gave me a chance to connect with and thank community partners and leaders who join SPPS to provide resources and direction to help students succeed in college, career and life. The Minnesota Department of Education is providing a one-year grant of $97,000 to support our relationship with Saint Paul Public Libraries. That funding incentivises students to increase the use of their library and provides paid training to SPPS elementary teachers about accessing and integrating library resources into their teaching.

In short, it was a great event for me: connecting with strategic partners in the presence of students who benefit from that partnership. I am fortunate to get energized through my work most every day. My hope is that you also get energized by your work - there is nothing more important than to focus on helping our students learn, grow and thrive.

Thank you for all you do.

In partnership,

Joe Gothard

Joe Gothard