Tiger TV Recruiting New Members


Do you enjoy taking photographs? Do you have an interest in a career in television or radio? Would you like to participate in an extracurricular organization that will get you involved with the many activities happening at BI? If so, Tiger TV is the club for you! 

Tiger TV crew members are responsible for operating cameras at football games, filming graduation, and reporting on most special events that occur during the year. While it requires a great deal of your time after school hours, we always manage to have fun and share plenty of laughs while we work.

Our Tiger TV student leader this year is Keinan Johnson. If you are interested in learning more or being a part of our team, stop by the media center and pick up an application or talk to Keinan when you see him around school. You will be glad you did!

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A New Year is Here!


I have attempted to post a welcome back message about ten times since we have returned to work, but I haven’t been able to sit and get it done until now. So welcome back students, staff, parents, and community friends! School has been in session almost two weeks now, and it has been extremely busy for us in the media center so far. Ordinarily, we would be holding our annual freshmen orientations right now, but with our 1:1 iPad initiative rolling out this school year, we have done little other than unpacking, processing, distributing, setting-up, and troubleshooting iPads since school started. While this has been a stressful and incredibly busy time for us, we are very excited about the opportunities that our students will have as a part of this initiative (called the Liberty Learning Experience). We look forward to getting in classrooms and working directly with teachers and students in their subject areas once we get all students up and running on their devices, and we play catch-up on some of our other media responsibilities.

We have a great deal to look forward to this year and over the next few months! With 18 new staff members, we can’t wait to build new relationships and create new learning opportunities for students through collaborative partnerships. We are anxious to kick off our Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl team practices later this month. We are also seeking new members of the audio/visual club we sponsor, Tiger TV. Additionally, we are looking forward to selecting and purchasing new books for our collection, especially e-books now that all students can access these materials with their iPads. We will be planning some special events for staff and students as well in the coming months. We will keep you posted on all of the things happening at BI! Stop in and see us if you get a chance!


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Summer Reading


One of my favorites things about summer is that I have plenty of time to read! We know that this is true for many of our students at BI, too. We spent the last month of school planning and advertising our first BI Virtual Summer Reading Program. We wanted to do some fun, reading-related activities while we all had a little time off. Since it is hard to get students to meet in-person during the busy summer months, we decided to try a virtual summer reading program using social media.

Summer Reading Social Media Challenges

Here is how it works. Each week, Mrs. Lukkarinen and I will use Remind 101 to send out a weekly reading challenge. These challenges will be fun, easy, and definitely reading-related. We will choose a random weekly participant to win a small prize when we return to school in August. Since there are 8 weeks in our summer challenge, there will be 8 weekly prizes to claim! You may win free books, reading promotional items, or other cool stuff from our prize box. To enter each weekly challenge, use the hashtag #BIreads to post the challenge photo on Twitter or Instagram, or you can e-mail us at bimediaspecialists@liberty.k12.ga.us if you are not on these social media sites. You have to sign up to receive the Remind 101 texts or e-mails to know what each challenge will be! Here are the directions to do that:


You can also win our grand prize at the end of the summer by keeping track of what you read all summer long. Simply complete the reading log below and return to the media center during the first two weeks of August. We will draw one name to win something fantastic – think tablet, book store gift cards, etc.

BI Summer Reading Log

Now, what kind of media specialists would we be if we left you high and dry with no reading materials? We have decided to announce (via Remind 101) special check-out days at BI’s media center over the summer. That’s right – if one of us is working at BI (which we do often during the summer), we will send out a Remind 101 message to let you know the times you can drop by and check out a book! For those traveling, you can always check out an e-book from our collection to read on your smart phone, tablet, or computer. See the directions below for doing this.

E-Books How-To Flyer

Now go find a good book and start reading! The first challenge will be sent out on June 9th!

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My Friend Dahmer: A Graphic Review


I love books, and I love to read. I enjoy different types of stories, so I can get excited about almost any genre. Almost. When this year’s Georgia Peach Award nominees were announced in February, we were surprised to find that two of the 20 selections were graphic novels. Instantly, I dreaded reading these two titles because “I just don’t read graphic books.” I took home the first of these two books, My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, one Monday afternoon and thought I might flip through to see what I was missing. Less than two hours later, I had finished my first graphic novel.

Although I am still not a big fan of graphic books in general, I have a new found appreciation for why many students gravitate toward them. The images in Dahmer told the story in ways that I am not sure words could have. I think that readers could have learned a great deal about this man in any number of other books or articles published about him, but there was something about seeing Backderf’s images that made me feel like I knew this troubled teen. Although I had no intention of reading the book when I first sat down with it, I found that once I began exploring, I had to go back to the beginning and continue until I finished it. I can’t say that I felt sorry for Dahmer after reading the book. Mostly, I felt anger about all of the years that his problems were overlooked. As his depravity escalates in his teen years, I wanted to scream at the people in his life to do something!  I was surprised that a book with less words than a typical chapter could make me so emotional. I even found myself spending a great deal of time on the pages with no text or dialogue. There was so much to see and reflect on in each of the scenes of the story. While I would still rather curl up on a rainy day with a traditional fiction novel, I feel like I can be more open-minded when it comes to books outside of my comfort zone like My Friend Dahmer.

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Is It Really May?

Every year goes by quickly, but I can’t believe that it is already May. Usually at the end of the semester, we get so busy with teaching that we get behind in blogging. This semester is no exception! We have classes scheduled in the media center and computer labs into the last week of school. This is a great problem to have, but it does leave us a little out of breath when the whirlwind settles!

Since we last posted, many exciting things have been happening in the media center. We hosted our state-wide Exemplary Library Media Program Open House. We had almost 40 attendees throughout the day who represented at least 9 counties in Georgia. We were very pleased to have a media specialist from as far away as the metro-Atlanta area attend. Additionally, we were thrilled that Dr. Vayla Lee, Superintendent of Liberty County Schools, joined our principal, Scott Carrier, in supporting this event. We had several other central office officials, school principals, and even a school board member attend as well. Oh, and I can’t forget the two Instructional Technology professors from Georgia Southern University, Dr. Repman and Dr. Green, who taught us so much about this profession! The support our media program receives from all levels of administration and the community makes a big difference in what we are able to accomplish. image

When we have not been teaching, we have been preparing for some big changes coming in technology next year. We recently learned that we will be going 1:1 in grades 4 – 12 next year. For those of you not familiar with this term, it means all students in these grades will be assigned an iPad to use for instruction. With significant improvements in bandwidth and teacher training, we expect to see some great things happening in our classrooms. While Mrs. Lukkarinen and I have had our hands full with the logistics of these changes, we are really looking forward to leading our teachers and staff through this period of transition next year and beyond.

Finally, we learned last week that our program has once again been designated a Liberty County Exemplary Media Program. While we are ineligible to earn the state distinction again for the next 10 years, we are proud that our program continues to improve and increase student achievement at Bradwell. While we look forward to finishing another school year, we are also anticipating the wonderful things awaiting us and the rest of the Tiger community next year!

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Georgia Student Media Festival


On Friday, we traveled to Jonesboro to help judge almost 1000 student projects that qualified for the Georgia Media Festival this year. To get to the state level competition, projects must score 96 or better at both a school-level and district-level competition.

Congratulations to the following BI students who earned qualifying scores this weekend at state. Their projects will now advance to the International Student Media Festival to be held later in the summer.

Michelle Shaughnessy (Prezi on Andrew Jackson)

Georgi-Ann Johnson (Prezi on Theodore Roosevelt)

Amber Akridge (Website on Eating Disorders)

Victoria Smith (Website on Cancer)
Shanta Bacon
Tameerah Thomas

The following projects earned a perfect score at state:

Keinan Johnson (Website on Social Media and Teens)

Genesis Maldanado-Matos (Website on Teen Depression)
Tiana Johnson
Kaysa Hawkins

We could not do this without media specialist/teacher collaboration on classroom projects throughout the year. A special thank you to Mrs. Reese, Mrs. Eastlake, Coach Miller, and Mr. Richards for encouraging them to participate this year.

Categories: Media Festival, Photos | 1 Comment

Student Media Festival


We are proud of the following students who have projects advancing to the Georgia State Media Festival in May. They have earned qualifying scores at both the school and county media festivals. Please join us in congratulating them!

  • Keinan J. (2 projects)-Keinan for Congress (Wood) and Teens: The Way We Talk (Eastlake)
  • Amber A.-Not Good Enough (Eastlake)
  • Georgi-Ann J.– Theodore Roosevelt (Richards)
  • Michelle S.-Andrew Jackson (Richards)
  • Achley C.-Life: A Poem (McCallar/Lukkarinen)
  • Curtis M., Michael B., Courtney L., DeAndrea G.-Schizophrenia (Cara Reese)
  • Keonte B.-Sports Live with Keonte B (Cara Reese)
  • Jordan A. and Zahnay S.-Bullying (Coach Miller)
  • Tameerah T., Shanta B., Victoria S.-Do You Fear Cancer? (Coach Miller)
  • Tiana J., Genesis M., Kaysa H.-Stay Strong (Coach Miller)
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Social Media for Teens and Tweens

Teaching students and parents about social media is an important part of our job as high school media specialists. In August, we scheduled a forum on this topic with our PTO to be held in March for both middle and high school parents. After Kate, an aspiring media specialist, started working with us to complete practicum hours, we thought this would be a good activity for her to plan and present to this audience. While Mrs. Lukkarinen and I shared resources, discussed ideas, and helped promote the event, Kate took the reins and was the face of the BI media program during the forum.

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We think the parents, students, and staff members who attended the event got some valuable information on this serious topic. We are linking Kate’s presentation website here for those interested. Our many thanks to Kate for being so well-prepared and willing to take on such a big task!


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Book Spine Poetry

We enjoy seeing book spine poems other libraries have done to celebrate special events like National Poetry Month. Mrs. Lukkarinen had a great idea to complete a book spine poetry activity with some of our students. After collaborating with Mrs. Troupe-Clear and Mr. Wilkinson, we are planning a day when we can work with their students on book spine poetry. The teachers are excited to participate since they are currently studying poetry in their classes. We can’t wait to share the finished products! Here are a few that Mrs. Lukk and I created while preparing our lesson materials.




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HRRB State Champions!

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For those who participate in Georgia’s Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, January and February are incredibly busy months. For many of the schools that compete in this state-wide competition, teams are formed and practice sessions begin in August. From August until January, students read twenty books from the Georgia Peach Award nominees and study thousands of possible questions about the titles. January and February begin competition season; first with county, then regionals, and finally district, for teams that earn the right to compete at the next level. Only two teams each from the elementary, middle, and high school levels compete in March for the state championship. We have been very excited to earn our spot in the state championship finals over the past two years. After suffering a tough defeat and an ultimate second place finish in the state finals last year to Lithia Springs High School, our team was hungrier than ever for the win.

This year, we represented Division II in the championship against the Division I winner, Marietta High School. Marietta is a great team that has earned the right more than once to compete for the top honor in HRRB. Our team came out strong in the first round, answering the first five questions in the fifteen-question round. After round one, BI had a lead of 100-40. We would only need to answer five more questions correctly to clinch the championship. When the second round was complete, we posted a score of 80-70, easily securing the win and the championship 180-110. We are extremely proud of our students for setting a goal, working harder than we asked them to, and for carrying themselves like true champions at each competition in which they participated. They are fine representatives of Bradwell Institute, and we can’t wait to begin the process all over again with the same group of students next August!

Categories: HRRB, Photos | Leave a comment

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