School Librarian Austin Independent School District
When 8 teenage refugees from Afghanistan arrived at McCallum High School last year, our community wanted them to feel welcome. Using a vacant office space located in the library, I created a room that began as the "Prayer Room" but has since evolved into a "Quiet Room" -- a place for prayer, but also for private de-stressing, personal phone calls, and interviews with colleges. I designed the space after the all-faith Rothko Chapel in Houston, and consulted Muslim students and a local Mosque to ensure the room met the cultural and practical needs of students. I also developed procedures that reduce disruption to classroom instruction time.