Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Case Study No. 2074: Marie Gandron

9-year-old reading champ punished for winning too much?
Librarian wants bookworm banned
Tags: US|Latest US
Added: 1 year ago
From: foxnewstest
Views: 147

["Trouble with schools" appears on screen]
STEVE: [from off camera] Well, believe this ...
[cut to a still image of a young boy standing next to an elderly female library aide, as "Bookworm Bummer - 9 year old accused of 'hogging' contest" appears on screen]
STEVE: [from off camera] Nine-year-old Tyler Weaver just won his public library's reading contest for the fifth year in a row, but instead of patting him on the back, the head librarian wants to change the rules so other kids will have a chance.
[cut to the set of "Fox and Friends", where Steve Doocy is sitting next to a young boy and his mother]
STEVE: Joining us right now, Tyler and his mom, Katy Weaver. Good morning to both of you.
STEVE: Congratulations. Tyler, how many ... Every year, your local library has this contest to see which kids can read the most books. How many did you read this year to win?
TYLER: Sixty three books.
STEVE: You read sixty three books? Over, uh, what period?
TYLER: [pause] Um, three weeks?
[Steve laughs]
STEVE: That is amazing!
KATY: Six weeks.
TYLER: Six weeks.
[Katy laughs]
STEVE: Listen, it's amazing. I've only read three books in that period.
["Page Turner - boy told to 'make room' for other champs" appears on screen]
STEVE: Okay, so ... uh, this is the fifth year in a row that you've won, right?
TYLER: True.
STEVE: Alright, and what is it you like so much about reading?
TYLER: Well, I like to learn ... I like to learn something new.
STEVE: You do? And I understand you've read at least one book about each of the fifty states, right?
STEVE: What a great kid you have raised, congratulations!
KATY: Thank you!
STEVE: Okay, so fifth year in a row, you heard through the newspaper that the library director had a problem with your son winning every year, year after year.
KATY: Yes. Yes, I had called Meg Hagerty at the Post Star, and I wanted just--
STEVE: Your local newspaper.
KATY: Local newspaper, and I just wanted a picture of him buried in the Sunday paper.
STEVE: Sure.
["He Hogs the Contest - librarian wants reading champ banned" appears on screen]
KATY: So Meg called the library director, and that's when all the comments came out and that's how I found out that they weren't happy.
STEVE: And what were the comments? Well, the public library director up there in Hudson Falls ...
KATY: Mm hmm.
[cut to a still image of Tyler and his brother]
STEVE: [from off camera] Not far from Glen Falls, New York, said that this young man right here, Tyler, hogs the contest every year and he should step aside and that other kids quit because they can't keep up.
[cut back to the still image of Tyler and the library aide]
STEVE: [from off camera] How does that make you feel, mom?
KATY: [from off camera] Very angry.
STEVE: [from off camera] Mm hmm.
[cut back to the mother and son being interviewed]
KATY: And disappointed.
KATY: Because Tyler worked so hard for it.
STEVE: Yeah.
KATY: He deserves this. He should deserve praise and he should be rewarded for it--
STEVE: Mm hmm.
KATY: And my other son came in second place, and people should be proud of them!
[she laughs, as "Inspiration or Menace? - debate over 5th grade reading winner" appears on screen]
STEVE: Absolutely. And apparently what the library director wanted to do, until it became a big story in your local paper--
KATY: Mm hmm.
["Punishing Success - Mom: everyone should be proud of Tyler" appears on screen]
STEVE: Was she wanted to put all the names of all the kids in the program into a fish bowl or something like that and pull out a winner, right?
[cut to a still image of the female library director in question (black hair, glasses, floral pattern dress)]
KATY: [from off camera] Yes.
TYLER: [from off camera] Yeah.
KATY: [from off camera] We disagree.
[Steve laughs, then cut back to the mother and son being interviewed]
STEVE: Well, yeah. The winner is the winner, you would think.
KATY: The one who worked for it!
STEVE: That's right.
KATY: You work for it, you don't get it by luck.
STEVE: You did work for it, and not only did you work for it, but you gave up other things to do it. You could've been doing other things at the time, but y'know, you set aside special time to read sixty three books, right?
[he nods his head, and Katy laughs]
STEVE: Alright. What would, what would your message be to the library director?
["Tyler Weaver, 9 year old reading champ" appears on screen]
TYLER: Um, all I want is a apology and an explanation so, for why they thought ... thought that, that um, that I should stop reading.
STEVE: Yeah.
TYLER: To let other people ... to have a chance to win.
STEVE: Sure, absolutely. Well, it's an interesting story.
["Wussification of America - boy told to step aside, let others win" appears on screen]
STEVE: Are you gonna go ahead and do it again next year if they have it, or are you gonna hog the contest again?
[they laugh]
STEVE: I got a feeling if they do it, you'll be there, right?
KATY: That's right.
STEVE: Alright.
[Katy laughs]
STEVE: Uh, Tyler and Katy Weaver, thank you very much for joining us today.
KATY: Thank you.
STEVE: Alright, and congratulations. And congratulations to your brother who came in second place. That's great.
[Katy laughs]
STEVE: What do you think about that? Email us, friends at foxnews dot com.



Reading Too Much? Librarian Wants to Ban NY Boy From Competition
Aug 20, 2013 | As seen on Fox and Friends

A 9-year-old New York boy just won his public library's children's reading club contest for the fifth year in a row, but instead of being congratulated he is being told to step aside! The Hudson Falls Public Library director said that Tyler Weaver hogs the competition and should be banned!

Weaver read 63 books between June 24th and August 3rd, and has won the competition every year since he was in kindergarten.



The mother of a 9-year-old reading whiz from New York is asking for an apology after a local librarian said she wanted her son banned from a reading club contest that he just won for the fifth year in a row.

After Tyler Weaver read 63 books between June 24 and Aug. 3 to win this year's Dig Into Reading competition at the Hudson Falls Public Library, director Marie Gandron told a reporter from the Glens Falls Post-Star that Weaver "hogs" the contest every year and should "step aside.”

"Other kids quit because they can't keep up," Gandron said.

Gandron's declaration didn't sit well with Tyler and his family.

"When he heard what the director said [about him] he was very upset," Katie Weaver, Tyler's mother, told TODAY. "He's never seen being good at reading to be a negative thing. And he shouldn't! He realized that the director was wrong.

"I was really, really angry when I heard what she said," Weaver said. "I think Tyler deserves an apology. I want him to see that even though one person disagrees, if it's something he wants to pursue, I think he should go for it. He learned a great lesson about ignoring negativity.”

Tyler has read 373 books over the course of five contests that began when he was in kindergarten. His younger brother, Jonathan, 7, also is a voracious reader, having won the contest for his age group two years running. However, books are not Tyler's sole interest.

"When this first happened, Tyler was excited because he won the book club again," Weaver said. "He loves being king of the book club! He loves to read, but he also plays soccer, he swims, and he rides his bike, like any 9-year-old boy.”

Weaver said she has not heard anything from Gandron or the library's board since Gandron's public comments. Gandron told the Post-Star she initially wanted to change the contest rules so that the winners' names would be drawn out of a hat rather than just being the children who read the most books.

In a previous year, she discovered that a girl and her mother were lying about reading more than 200 books. As a result, children now have to answer questions by a library aide about the content of the books after they return them in order to verify that they have indeed read what they've claimed. Lita Casey, a library aide for 28 years, told the Post-Star that Gandron's idea to change the rules to picking names out of a hat is "ridiculous.”

"My feeling is you work, you get it," Casey said. "That's just the way it is in anything. My granddaughter started working on track in grade school and ended up being a national champ. Should she have backed off and said, 'No, somebody else should win?' I told her [Gandron], but she said it's not a contest, it's the reading club and everybody should get a chance."



It may be a quiet place, but the public library in Hudson Falls, New York (population: 6,927), is buzzing with drama these days, and the story has all the components of a good novel (albeit a novel set in a library, featuring librarians and a 9-year-old reading-contest winner as the main characters). That 9-year-old is Tyler Weaver — the self-proclaimed "king of the book club" and one of the library's most frequent visitors — who will be taking his book business elsewhere, now that a longtime library aide who stuck up for him in a contest controversy has been fired.

"The kids call her Gram. That makes it even worse," Tyler's mother, Katie Weaver, tells Yahoo Shine. "Gram" is Lita Casey, a library aide who spent 28 years working at the Hudson Falls Free Library. But Casey says that the library's board of trustees let her go without reason this week, a month after Casey defended Tyler, who won the library's summer reading contest, "Dig into Reading," for the fifth time by reading the most books in a six-week period.

"I'm not very happy. I was not ready to leave," Casey, who's also a former preschool teacher, tells Yahoo Shine. "I loved my job, and I loved the little kids."

Weaver explains that the library controversy started when she called the local newspaper, the Post-Star, asking if they would feature Tyler's win in the paper. "I called the paper because I was proud of Tyler," she says, "not because I wanted to complain."

The publication then reached out to former library director Marie Gandron for a quote on Tyler's reading success. Instead of praising Tyler's effort, Gandron told The Post-Star that Tyler "hogs" the contest every year and he should "step aside." (And if you don't believe a grown woman would say these things about a little boy who reads a lot, check out the story the paper published.) "Other kids quit because they can't keep up," she told The Post-Star last month, adding that she planned to change the reading program's rules, suggesting they draw names out of a hat instead of awarding prizes, such as T-shirts, water bottles, and atlases, to kids who read the most books. (Gandron has not returned Yahoo Shine's request for comment.)

Disagreeing with Gandron's proposed rule changes, Casey stepped in and stood up for Tyler, who read an impressive 63 books in just six weeks, which made him the clear winner, fair and square. "I don't think it should be a lottery," Casey explains. They all had the same amount of time." The contest only requires kids to read 10 books to participate, and there is no word on how many books the runner-up logged.

And the plot thickens: According to Weaver, Gandron then left her position at the library, never having apologized to Tyler. Michael Herman, president of the library's board of trustees, confirmed to the Post-Star last week that Gandron was no longer employed by the library but wouldn't say whether she had been fired or quit.

According to Casey, a member of the library board called her Monday evening to let her know she'd been fired but wouldn't give her a reason. Casey, not surprisingly, is convinced that her firing is related to the controversy over the library's reading contest, but she hasn't been given a chance to speak with the board since and isn't happy about the whole thing. "I would say I don't deserve this. I don't know what it is. I wasn't going to quit with all of the flak," she says. (The librarian at Hudson Falls Free Library who answered Yahoo Shine's call said she could not comment on the situation, and Herman could not be reached for comment.)

Weaver doesn't agree with the board's decision, either, and points out that Casey has dedicated her life to encouraging kids to read. "I don't know what the board was thinking," she says. "For them to let her go and not give her a reason, that's wrong. Someone who stands up for kids, stands up for what's right — those are the kinds of people I want in my kids' lives."

Casey says she's received many calls of support, but she won't be frequenting the Hudson Falls Free Library anymore. "I'm going to miss it," she says. This story could have a happy ending, though: If there's an opening at a nearby library's children's room, she'll happily begin a new chapter there. And Weaver says that she, Tyler, and a few other families will be following suit. "We'll be going to another library with her," she says. Why? The answer is simple, according to Weaver: "She's so sweet."

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