Welcome to the Homestead Elementary Library/Media Center Website!

November 12th-16th, 2018


"When we read books with children,
we share other worlds,
and even more importantly,
we share ourselves."

                           -Anna Dewdney

(In memory of Anna Dewdney,
author of the Llama, Llama series,
who passed away on Sept. 3, 2016)


"There's no such thing as a kid
who hates reading.  There are
kids who love reading and kids
who are reading the wrong books."

                                                 -James Patterson



"The way you treat people says a lot about
who you are.  BE CAREFUL! Your actions
are screaming over your words!"


2018-19 Homestead Elementary A.R. Goal is.....
50,000 books will be read by HES students
by May 25, 2019!!



Book Fair #1:September!!
(Date to be announced!)

Thank you for supporting our
Book Fairs!!

And Your Librarian Is........
Mrs. Gretchen Speich Thurman

    I am SO glad to be the  Librarian/Media Specialist at Homestead Elementary.   I have  taught first grade (nine and a half years), transitional first grade (eleven years) and kindergarten (eight years). I graduated from C.C.H.S. and  attended Martin Methodist College (which was still a junior college at that time) for my first two years, receiving my A.A from MMC.  I graduated with my B.S. from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville  and my Masters Degree in Library Science from Tennessee Technological University. In Jan. 2010, I became Librarian at HES and I have been in that position now for eight years.  I LOVE books and I LOVE reading to children...and to my middle school students!!!! 
    I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Danny Thurman, a codes inspector for the city of Crossville, for 39 years.  We live in the Meridian community and are  the proud parents of Grant, 32, and Camille, 28.  Grant works at the Fairfield Branch of The First National Bank of Tennessee and is married to Kelly (Gentry) Thurman, who is the guidance counselor at Brown Elem.  ...AND I  NOW HAVE A GRANDDAUGHTER NAMED ABBY, BORN JUNE 1, 2018!!!  My daughter,  Camille, is a PreK teacher at Homestead. She is married to Jeremy Conner, who also works at H.E.S. as a Special Education assistant.  THEY ARE EXPECTING BABY LUKE IN OCTOBER 2018!
     I also have lots of fun being the adopted "Tennessee Grandma" to Mr. and Mrs. Kuffel's three sons: Ben (age 6), Brady (age 4), and Sawyer (age 3).  We are already enjoying books together! Right now,  our favorites ....Pete the Cat and Llama, Llama books!!  WE ARE ALSO VERY EXCITED ABOUT "BABY GIRL KUFFEL", DUE JANUARY, 2019!!
    I enjoy reading, cooking, spending time with/entertaining family and friends.  At Homestead,  I am a mentor for new teachers and the co-captain of the Homestead Bulldogs Relay for Life Team.  My daughter, Camille, and I are the F.C.A. Sponsors at HES. I am an active member of Dorton United Methodist Church and teach Sunday School and Bible Studies there.  I am also involved with Arc of Cumberland County, Special Olympics, and  Emmaus of the Upper Cumberland.

             What An Astonishing Thing A Book Is!!!  

It is a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.  But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.  Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to....


"We shouldn't teach good books; we should teach a love of reading."
            -B.F. Skinner                                

What Is Your Child Learning in Library?

 Pre-K and Kindergarten:  We will be reading lots of fun fall and Thanksgiving books. I'm looking forward to reading the book, "There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Pie"

First Grade: Lots of giggles, laughs with fun fall and Thanksgiving books. Two books we will read are "Everybody Eats Soup" and "Mean Soup".

Second Grade:  We will be read the first book in one of my favorite picture book series, "Epossomondus" and will learn a lot of rue facts
about 'possums.

Third Grade:
   We will learn about Mary Pope Osborne and The Magic Treehouse series. We will continue to work on our information for our book we are writing as authors/illustrators.

Fourth Grade:   (See Above)

Fifth Grade: 
We are reading a Historical Fiction novel, "Henry Ford: Young Man With Ideas.  This book ties in well with many of the Common Core Standards in fifth grade. Not only is it a fun book to read together, but it is very educational!

Sixth Grade:
We will be reading the novel, "The Cay".  We'll laugh a lot....but I have warned the students that there will be some tears in the future!  This book is a Newberry Honor Book and is on the 6th grade protected reading list.  

Seventh Grade:
Our selected novel for the seventh grade group is the popular novel,  "A Wrinkle in Time".  This is a genre (science fiction/science fantasy) that many of my students have not explored, so I am excited to share it with them. AND it is a book that really makes them THINK! It is a novel that teaches teamwork and inner strength.  (Also, it is a book on the County-wide Seventh Grade Reading List.)

Eighth Grade:
Our eighth grade selection is a timeless classic: "The Outsiders".  It is a wonderful story of family and of friends and how the wrong choices in life can be devastating.  Even though this was written over fifty years ago, it's message is as relevant today as it was then.
*We will also do a research project: our family trees.

Bulldog Block  


I Opened a Book

"I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I've left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I'm wearing the cloak, I've slipped on the ring.
I've swallowed the magic potion.
I've fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter.
And followed their road with its bumps and bends,
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same.
But I have the book inside me."


Do all the good you can,
In all the ways you can,                                   
At all the times you can,                                                                               
To all the people you can, 
As long as you ever can.

                     - John Wesley


**REMEMBER: Try to do at least one random act of kindness per
   day. The world will be a better place and you will be a better

 "PAY IT                                  


Readers Become Leaders!!

"The only thing that you absolutely have to know is
 the location of the library."

                             -Albert Einstein


"Google can bring you back 100,000 answers,
a librarian can bring you back
the right one."

                         -Neil Gaiman


What's New in the Library......
        For Pre-K - 2nd grade:
"I Will Never, Ever Eat a Tomato"
"Whose Hat is This?"
"The Bear Ate the Sandwich" 
"Fly Guy's Family Album"
"Absolutely No Elephants"
Several "How Do Dinosaurs"..." books

        For Grades 3 - 5:
Jedi Academy
Bad Guys Series
Max Crumbly Series
"Molly's Story: A Dog's Purpose Novel"
"The Wild Robot"

        For Grades 6 - 8:
"A Long Walk to Water"
"The Hate U Give"
"Mortal Instruments" series (4 book set)
New set: "The Red Queen" series
Set of "The Survivors"
"The Pale Assassin"

 Check these series out.....
Hank the Cowdog Series
Magic Treehouse Series
Magic Puppy Series
Magic Kitten Series
Puppy Place Series
Fablehaven Series
Matt Christopher Series
Hunger Games Series
Divergent Series
Beautiful Creatures Series
The Unwanteds Series
The Ranger's Apprentice Series


"We, at Homestead Elementary,
take responsibility to be good citizens and to become 


Readers ARE lifelong learners!! 

"Children are made readers
 in the laps of their parents."
               -Emilie Buchwald