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"PKS" Plantation Keys School — Tavernier, Florida

Jayne Vallee


November 2018 was filled with a fun visit to PKS in the Florida Keys. I read to K-3rd grades and introduced the DLIMH books to over 200 students. I arrived at the pink school with the greeting "Welcome to Plantation Key School Where the Future is in Progress." I followed their mascot panther prints painted on the sidewalk into the building. 

    

PKS was preparing to move into their new school after the winter holiday break, so there were boxes lining the halls, classrooms being packed up, and the library where I read was half empty. That didn't stop the flow of learning from happening. Dr. Cash, PKS's librarian, was my school liaison. I read in her space for four consecutive days and watched firsthand how she worked with students and what enormous impact she had on them. I visit numerous schools across the country and PKS ranks at the top. Their library is located in the center of the school and acts as the nucleus. Dr. Cash capitalizes on the location and creates a place where the kids feel at home. She creates games and activities which keeps bringing them in. I was so impressed — I didn't want to leave. She tells me although her new library in the new building is "not exactly" in the middle of the school, it's in a great location. The community is enormously excited about the new facility. It's supposed to be state-of-the-art. That being said, if a school can operate amongst chaos and littered-boxed-filled hallways at the level I saw it - new school or not - this learning establishment is going to flourish regardless of where they are located.  Maybe this is a good reminder it's the people, not the place, who make the true difference.

 

It was fun to talk about creatures who lived with dinosaurs and are alive today, because so many of them live in the Key's water: sea star, horseshoe crab, sea urchin, shark, sea turtle, and crocodile. 

      

Everyone knows the water, food, and key lime pie in the Keys is fantastic, little do they know the Plantation Key School is tops as well!

Side note. Someday I'd love to have someone prepare what I look like before people start snapping photos of me I have to post. xo


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