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Free Resources from the San Antonio Public Library for Back to School

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YOUR MOST IMPORTANT SCHOOL SUPPLY IS YOUR SAN ANTONIO PUBLIC LIBRARY CARD

San Antonio Public Library wants to remind students and their families of the many free resources available with a San Antonio Public Library card. Throughout the school year, the Library serves the community in multiple ways by offering resources to support children, teens and educators. Here are a few examples:

Online Homework Help
Access tutors online who are ready to provide elementary, middle and high school level help with math, science, English and social studies (in English or Spanish). You can also access practice lessons, worksheets, study guides and videos 24/7.

Learning Express Library
Access SAT and GED prep books online, 24/7. Work through the practice tests for math, reading, and social studies, or download eBooks on writing and grammar. You’ll also find writing courses and practice tests.

Free WiFi and Public Computers
Visit one of our 30 locations to use free Wi-Fi or take advantage of the Library’s public computers and printers. Visitors can also borrow a laptop at some branches to use while there.

Research Resources
The Library has a wealth of databases for students to find solid, cite-able sources for almost any subject. Try Explora for Elementary School, Primary Search, Explora for High School, Academic Search Complete or MasterFILE Premier, to name a few.

After School Activities
The Library hosts weekly teen-only (13-18) activities at all of 30 locations, and some also have activities just for 9- to 12-year-olds. Stop by after school and make new friends while you learn crafts, watch movies, and experiment with new technologies. Some locations also offer after-school snacks so you can fuel up before you start on your homework!

eBooks and eReading Rooms
Need to read a book for an assignment and can’t find it? Try looking for an eBook version!  The Library also offers eReading rooms that provide a great virtual environment for children and teens to browse within the San Antonio Public Library digital library. Each room is customized to display content only for the particular browsing audience, cataloged by reading level.

The Teen Library at Central
At the Teen Library at Central, there is a lab that allows 3D printing, a computer lab, free Wi-Fi, gaming space and even a recording studio. And the teen book collection keeps growing, with titles that include teen fiction, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) materials, manga and graphic novels. The books are available for checkout throughout the Library system. The Teen Library at Central is located on the 3rd floor of Central Library at 600 Soledad St.

Ask a Librarian
Librarians are information ninjas. They can help you find those elusive books on obscure historical events or find the answer to complicated reference questions. Talk to them in person (we also have teens’ and children’s librarians) or call them at 210-207-2500 or 210-207-2678. You can also click the Ask icon at mysapl.org or text the Library at 210-591-7445.

Bexar County residents can sign up for a San Antonio Public Library card in person at any one of 30 library locations or digitally using a mobile phone number with the Libby app from OverDrive.  Visit mysapl.org or call 210-207-2500 for more information about these free resources and more, and for a map of all 30 San Antonio Public Library locations.

To learn more, go here.

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Education

Free Tuition Near A Reality

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In the event you missed the news back in the spring, free tuition is becoming closer to a reality in the Alamo City.

A blue ribbon roster of local business, education, and non-profit leaders gathered in April for their first meeting as the steering committee for the Alamo Colleges District’s AlamoPROMISE initiative.

The district is working collaboratively with the city and county to make the concept of AlamoPROMISE a reality. AlamoPROMISE will provide the first two years of college at one of the Alamo Colleges District’s five colleges to eligible students who plan to earn an associate degree or certifications, take courses for transfer or complete workforce training. 

AlamoPROMISE will provide a last-dollar scholarship, funded with support from public and private sector partners and foundations, to fill the gap between a student’s financial aid award and the cost of tuition and fees for the first two years of college at one of the district’s five colleges. AlamoPROMISE also incorporates comprehensive student support services, from career exploration and advising to connections to social services and student advocacy centers. This support, which is provided to all Alamo Colleges District students, will address transportation and childcare costs, food insufficiency and other barriers students face in completing college.

Chairing the committee are Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Alamo Colleges District Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores. They are joined on the committee by:

  • Kevin Voelkel, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing  Texas
  • Peter John Holt, CEO, Holt Cat
  • Jeff Goldhorn, Executive Director, Education Service Center Region 20
  • Richard Perez, President/CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Diane Sanchez, President/CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cynthia Matson, President, Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Taylor Eighmy, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Ryan Ludgalia-Hollon, Executive Director, Up Partnership
  • Lloyd Verstuyft, Superintendent, Southwest ISD
  • Pedro Martinez, Superintendent, San Antonio ISD
  • Brian Woods, Superintendent, Northside ISD
  • Jeanette Ball, Superintendent, Judson ISD
  • Kate Rogers, Outreach and Civic Engagement, Charles Butt Foundation
  • Rebecca Brune, President, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Romanita Matta-Barrera, Executive Director, SA Works

All of the chairs were encouraged and enthused about the program and the partnerships. 

“With AlamoPROMISE, we will impact not only our students and their families, but the larger community as well,” said Flores. “We will make a college education possible for a larger percentage of high school graduates and address regional workforce needs by providing more graduates who have the skills to qualify for the high-demand, high-wage jobs that often go unfilled in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”

“AlamoPROMISE is a transforming initiative for San Antonio students, said Wolff. “It will lift the barriers allowing Bexar County students an opportunity to obtain the best in skill training and education,” he added.

“The AlamoPROMISE will be truly transformative for our city,” said Nirenberg. “Tuition-free community college through a last-dollar scholarship is a game-changer for workforce and economic development. Today’s steering committee meeting was productive and TeamSA is all working together to make this promise a reality,” he added.

Steering Committee members were invited to learn first-hand about the Tennessee Promise program and how its success can be replicated for AlamoPROMISE.

At the Alamo Colleges District, high quality education and affordable costs provide exceptional value to students and alumni who are major contributors to the economy and culture of our community. For more information, go to www.alamo.edu/promise. 

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Education

Students Hope for Repeat Win in Math Competition

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They are back at it again. The “Little Figures” student group has entered another math video in a nationwide competition, and they are already No. 1 on the leaderboard out of more than 100 submissions.

Iman Zakaria, Sydney Vaughn, Londyn Hall, and Breanna Hutchison recently showcased their submission for the 2019 national MATHCOUNTS video challenge at a local movie theater, and KENS 5 recently interviewed two of the team members about the Avengers-themed video.

This new video centers on T’Chaya and the Avengers. The Avengers and Villains face off at Orlandia in a math challenge countdown. The Avengers call on the Little Figures and Tori of Mathkanda to help solve the math problem and help save the universe.

Last year, the team (Breanna Hutchison, Londyn Hall, Iman Zakaria, and Lindsey Simmons), competed against hundreds of other students across the United States in the challenge, which empowers students to take their math and problem-solving skills to the next level with a creative video project. The San Antonio team traveled to Washington, D.C. for the MATHCOUNTS banquet to get their winning trophies and scholarships.

Little Figures drew their name and inspiration from the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures” movie – the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. The Little Figures team is also a part of the San Antonio chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Jr.

The team needs the support of the San Antonio community to make sure their video stay No. 1 by voting at videochallenge.mathcounts.org for the “Silver War Countdown” video every 24 hours through March 14. Visitors will have to create an account or login through a social media site in order to vote.

 

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Education

Dis-Integration: A Conversation on School Segregation

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All are invited to attend a conversation — live or virtual — about the impact of school segregation on public education in San Antonio and statewide during the event Dis-Integration: A Conversation on School Segregation in Texas Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Philip’s College in the Bowden Alumni Center on the third floor of the college’s G. J. Sutton Learning Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive. The event is free and open to the public, with free parking and online access as well.

The conversation is moderated by The Texas Tribune public education reporter Aliyya Swaby and announced panelists as of Feb. 12 include:

  • State Rep. Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, vice chair of the House Public Education Committee;
  • Diana Herrera, a former student and teacher in the Edgewood Independent School District;
  • Albert Kaufman, a professor at St. Mary’s University; and
  • Brian Sparks, network principal in the San Antonio Independent School District.

While this nonprofit event is co-hosted by both Alamo Colleges District and St. Philip’s College, it is supported by the Texas Association of School Business Officials and Pearson.

Additional support is provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Sid Richardson Foundation. According to its web page, “Each year we host 50-plus on-the-record, open-to-the-public live events — on college campuses, in community centers and everywhere in between — at which public officials, policy wonks and newsmakers answer for the work they’re doing and how they’re spending your tax dollars. Events are often available via livestream video, for those who can’t attend in person, and following the conversation we publish and archive video online. 

The nonpartisan Feb. 26 event is the college debut of this project. Find details on live and virtual participation by visiting the event web page

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