Education Greenmont: Elementary library deserves praise

When a ransomware virus gave Wood County Schools lemons, Greenmont Elementary School librarian Kevin Mace found a way to make lemonade.

Mace, whose background is in technology integration, is known for taking the library position in a different direction. He makes Greenmont’s library a place where science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills blend seamlessly with the traditional resources available on the shelves and in the computer lab.

But this year presented a challenge.

In late October and early November, the virus that struck the school system meant the entire computer system had to be taken offline. Officials are still trying to work their way out of the mess that was made. Because S.T.E.M. helps kids learn how to problem-solve, adapt, be creative and flexible, the challenge turned into an opportunity for Mace.

He is using low-tech methods to teach high-tech concepts.

“Rubik’s Cube is a great example. There’s a lot of math involved,” he said. “I have an entire Rubik’s Cube kit with activities. I’d never solved a Rubik’s Cube on my own until I started teaching them.”

With the library just a starting point (a makerspace and greenhouse are in the works, too), Mace appears to be doing wonderful things for Greenmont students, who are learning how to use the information and resources available to them to find their own solutions to problems.

What a wonderful boost that will give them as they learn everything taught to them in more traditional classes. Kudos to Mace and Greenmont for giving them the opportunity.