Eastpointe Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Christina Gibson, center, recently received the 2021 Michigan Association for Media in Education, or MAME, Service Award for School Administrators. District librarian Patrick Taylor, right, nominated her. MAME President Shannon Torres, left, presented the award Oct. 14 at the President’s Award Gala during the annual MAME state conference in Kalamazoo.

Eastpointe Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Christina Gibson, center, recently received the 2021 Michigan Association for Media in Education, or MAME, Service Award for School Administrators. District librarian Patrick Taylor, right, nominated her. MAME President Shannon Torres, left, presented the award Oct. 14 at the President’s Award Gala during the annual MAME state conference in Kalamazoo.

Photo provided by Katherine Pfeiffer


Eastpointe administrator recognized with MAME award

By: Maria Allard | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 8, 2021

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EASTPOINTE — An Eastpointe Community Schools administrator has been recognized for her dedication to the district.

Assistant Superintendent Christina Gibson recently received the 2021 Michigan Association for Media in Education Service Award for School Administrators.

Gibson was honored Oct. 14 at the President’s Award Gala during the annual MAME state conference in Kalamazoo. The award recognizes a school administrator or team of administrators who have made a unique and sustained contribution toward furthering the role of the school library and its development in a school program.

Gibson, who oversees human resources, curriculum and instruction, and state and federal programs, was “surprised” by the award.

“I don’t really feel like I’m doing anything special,” she said.

MAME is a professional organization with a membership of approximately 400 school librarians and educators representing hundreds of school districts, universities and educational programs across Michigan.

Eastpointe Community Schools district librarian and English Language Learners coordinator Patrick Taylor nominated Gibson for the award to highlight her support of the district’s library program.

“I have gotten nothing but support from Ms. Gibson,” said Taylor, a member of MAME. “She’s always been welcoming to my ideas. Redeveloping our library collection has become a big goal of mine.”

Approximately four years ago, Eastpointe Community Schools received Title IV funding; some of those funds were used to update the schools’ libraries. That included weeding out books from decades past in which students were no longer interested.

“Our children aren’t reading them if they don’t connect with the text. Patrick helped us inventory all of our material,” Gibson said. “Libraries are curators of information. All schools should have a library culture and resources for children. Our children should have access to everything they need.”

It’s a place in school where students can get lost in a story, find a character they connect with and use their imaginations. Looking toward the future, the district also will use a portion of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER, funds to enhance the libraries’ collections. Taylor also has applied for grant money.

“We’ve asked our librarians, ‘What will make our libraries stronger?’” Gibson said. “Patrick is working on a plan to develop some makerspaces and more flexible seating. We want to make libraries a place where kids want to be and where teachers want to bring their students. It should be the heart of the school.”

Taylor first came to the district in the 2019-20 school year. He said there were only 98 books checked out from the high school during the 2018-19 school year. But the first year of his tenure, the district saw a 433% increase in students checking out books at the high school.

“The school has seen a change in demographics over the years. We’re taking our time to understand our kids want to read (stories) engaging and relevant to their lives,” Taylor said. “We’re finding things for kids to read they can see themselves in. There is still work to be done.”

Graphic novels and the Harry Potter series are still popular among the district’s readers, as is Lemony Snicket. The students also like to check out Beverly Cleary’s titles, the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, “Dog Man” books and “Captain Underpants.”

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