Stephanee Rausch

Librarian, Harris Hillman Exceptional Education School

The Limitless Libraries program is fantastic; I love it. It expands what we have available to us. When I started working at Harris Hillman, we had only 1,000 books total in our library collection and most of them were picture books. Limitless Libraries has given us the resources to build our collection and allow teachers to have the materials they need for lesson plans.

Limitless Libraries has given us the resources to build our collection and allow teachers to have the materials they need for lesson plans.

Harris Hillman is a Pre-K through 12th-grade school that serves students with severe disabilities. I feel strongly that we need to be providing our students with materials appropriate for their age levels, while making accommodations as necessary, and Limitless Libraries enabled us to purchase and have access to materials other than picture books, such as fiction, nonfiction and other more age-appropriate books for the students and teachers to use. At Harris Hillman, students’ progress is incremental. We don’t always see big gains as the result of our teaching. One thing the students really enjoy is books. I can tell how much they love the audiobooks. You can see they are listening and that these stories make them smile. If we can help them feel happy and content, simply by being read to, well, that’s a powerful thing. Our students don’t communicate by speaking, so we often don’t know what’s happening inside their minds; they may understand everything we are exposing them to, curriculum-wise, and we just can’t know. I’m excited about the opportunity to provide age-appropriate curriculum, books, lessons and materials, because then we are doing our job by challenging them and, most importantly, believing in them.

I feel so grateful for this innovative program, and I’m glad someone with the idea brought it to life.