Education and Social Science Research Librarian Ashley Hosbach has been awarded a grant of $8,739 from the Jefferson Trust to build a collection of 119 children’s books related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In her role as subject liaison for the school of Education and Human Development, Hosbach saw there was a need for children’s books in the Library to support UVA student educators who work with K-12 children facing somber realities posed by the pandemic. From May 2021 through May 2022, the Library will acquire titles on pandemic-related topics such as adapting to new social norms, overcoming loss, emotional trauma, and anxiety due to the pandemic.
The titles will be cataloged and mapped to the Virginia Department of Education’s Health Standards of Learning and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning core competencies to increase online discovery and aid in lesson planning and counseling. Hosbach has hired two grad students from the School of Education and Human Development to help with cataloging the titles which will serve as a basis for discussions about loss, traumatic events, vaccine education, public health standards, and coping with new social norms and regulations. In the project’s later stages, she envisions forming area partnerships in school districts with low vaccine rates, where copies of selected titles will be distributed for free in drive-thru book fairs.
Hosbach says the Library is “in a unique position to redefine public health education … we don’t want to return to the pre-COVID ‘normal’ where, perhaps, public health wasn’t a main focus in our curriculum. Our schools should strive for more robust public health education post-COVID, so, when we’re faced with another crisis, our population is properly educated.”
The grant is one of 14 flash grants, capped at $10,000 per project, that the Jefferson Trust has awarded this spring. Since 2006, the Jefferson Trust — an initiative of the UVA Alumni Association — has awarded grants to innovative projects across the University of Virginia that enrich UVA and the student experience.