Dupont Library Media Specialist Using Innovative Lessons for Media Literacy
Posted on 09/29/2023

(Chattanooga, TN)  Dupont Elementary School’s Alexis Kotz, library media specialist, paves the way for innovative literacy lessons for students that create connections and foster a lifetime love of literacy. 

Graduating in 2021 from East Texas, Kotz taught for two and a half years, before moving to the Hamilton County area. Since childhood, her dream job has always been to be a librarian, and with the media specialist position open at Dupont, she jumped at the opportunity. She expressed that it’s difficult to get students interested in reading within a classroom setting, where certain performance is expected. She thrives in the library, where she is able to encourage students to read beyond their reading level, and explore more challenging materials.

Kotz encourages students to explore different forms of literature and media. For the first few weeks of school, she told her students that they were not just entering a library, but a media center. “We let them know what media literacy is (audio books, graphic novels, digital books.) When students learn new methods and types of books, it changes the game.” She believes that this exposure to new and different forms of media in her library has made her students more receptive to reading. 

Additionally, Kotz takes great pride in housing different types of stories and books for her students. Every week she does a book feature, where she reads books to different grade levels and then places them up for checkout. For example, through the past month she set up a shelf to commemorate Hispanic Heritage month. She’s used books that feature Latinx and hispanic stories to read to her classes at each grade level. Her goal is to not only share important narratives, but to build community between her spanish speaking and non American students. She states, “It’s not just a place for books, it’s a place for knowledge and information that you get from reading and literacy in all of its many forms.”

Hamilton County Schools commends Alexis Kotz on her enthusiasm and passion for her students, as well as her dedication to their education. Her innovative takes on literacy in elementary school, is equipping her students with knowledge that will help them through graduation and beyond, as well as furthers the HCS commitment that Every Student Belongs through creating connection and support for all students