November 24, 2015

Ciro Scardina | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Advocates



School Library Media Specialist
P.S. 18 Staten Island, NY

MLS, School Media, Syracuse University, 2008

Photo © 2014 Michael Pilla

A Flair for Funding

The way Ciro Scardina sees it, “teaching is a performing art.” Scardina taught fourth grade for eight years before becoming the school library media specialist at P.S. 18 on New York’s Staten Island. Scardina’s lessons involve high-tech tools, all of which are available thanks to his impressive fundraising track record.

Through grants, Scardina has outfitted the P.S. 18 library with 25 new iPads, a smart board, and more than 2,000 new books. Winning the Target READesign School Library Makeover even allowed Scardina’s students to dream up their own new features.

“I work with a population of children in pretty severe poverty,” says Scardina. In addition to exposing them to new technology, he says it’s important for the library to address students’ basic needs. To that end, Scardina partnered with Target, Heart of America, and Food Bank for New York to set up a monthly pop-up food pantry in the school gymnasium, where families can get free produce and other goods.
Next on Scardina’s wish list is the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries to expand the library’s collection.

“I feel like I’ve given [my students] a chance to sink their teeth into literacy and become lifelong readers,” Scardina says. But nothing is more effective for getting kids excited about reading than a good book talk, and, he says, “that doesn’t cost anything.”

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  1. Lillian Amplo says:

    So excited to see Ciro be recognized for his awesome teaching style and ability to reach children with his love of books and reading! He’s a huge asset to his school and the community at large.

  2. frederick lopez says:

    I am so happy for you! Which grants to you use to outfit your library?

  3. Joyce Chapman says:

    As of 3/13/14 Ciro Scardina is filed incorrectly under North Carolina instead of New York on the map-based webpage Thanks!

  4. Pearl Friedman says:

    Proud and pleased to read of Ciro’s latest accomplishments. The PS18 community is fortunate to benefit from his talents, hard work and dedication. כל הכבוד, Ciro!

  5. Annemarie Leonard says:

    Congratulations Ciro! I’m happy you’re being recognized for all your hard work and dedication! You deserve it!