After creating concepts and building partnerships, Knights Elementary School in Plant City has re-imagined their library, by honoring the late Mr. Truman E. Kahler, Jr., naming it the Truman Kahler Library of Knowledge and Innovation.
Mr. Kahler understood that in order to reach your fullest potential in life, you must begin with a solid foundation. That foundation begins at Knights Elementary School, where Mr. Kahler taught third, fourth and fifth graders. After serving twenty years in the Air Force, Kahler taught gifted students at Knights, Forest Hills, and Walden Lake Elementary Schools, until he retired in 1995.
On December 7th, Mr. Kahler’s family and friends, along with current and retired Hillsborough County Public Schools’ teachers and administrators witnessed and celebrated his legacy and toured the new library. The Library is centered around four main foundations, which include inquiry, discovery, creativity and innovation.
The modern-day library now includes 3D printing stations, with two printers set up for classes to create objects based on the subject matter they are learning. Thanks to the Kahler family, the library also has Skype conferencing so that students can establish a connection with students, not only locally or nationally, but all over the world. With the bilingual population at Knights, students will soon be partnering up with students in Mexico to share their cultural and learning experiences virtually.
In addition, the diverse population at Knights also has a Virtual Storybook Library, offering a series of pre-recorded stories that can be accessed anywhere at any time. It’s more than a story on a camera, it’s the presentation of the story, it’s an evidence-based method that provides academic vocabulary instruction.
The students at Knights also have the opportunity to experience over 500 virtual field trips without having to leave their classroom. Thanks to Google Expeditions, the virtual field trips provide a cost-effective way for students to learn about the contents in the Smithsonian Museum, the Galapagos Islands, International Space Center and so much more, with each virtual field trip providing classroom lessons and 360 degrees of exploration. The library is also outfitted with wiggle stools to help students focus, along with uniquely configuered tables on wheels to assist with easy reconfiguration.
Mr. Kahler’s son, Perry Kahler, reflected on the examples his father left behind— examples of self-respect, respect for others, responsibility, never settling for second best, investing in one’s future through education, relationships and friendship.
Kahler was the type of teacher who made sure to cheer you on at your high school graduation, and witnessed you walking down the aisle on your wedding day.
“This was a special celebration to know that Truman and the work that he did with his students is going to be remembered and touch an innovative way. He loved his students and his students loved him,” said Mr. Kahler’s widow, Diana Kahler.
Kahler’s granddaughter Emerson Busciglio had the honor of unveiling the plaque honoring her grandfather and the impact he made on so many lives, especially those at Knights Elementary.