PCY: Shines the Spotlight on Mrs. Tinglof

For many students, the library is one of the best places at PCY. The walls and aisles are lined with shelves of books, computers are ready to assist researchers, and round tables welcome eager readers to stay. Both cheerful and cozy, the room provides a calm atmosphere mingled with possibility as it surrounds its visitors with a wide variety of stories contained within its 28,000 books.

Making sure the library is running smoothly is no small task, and it requires someone with a genuine love for books and a love for education. Mrs. Christina Tinglof fits the bill.

Mrs. Tinglof has been overseeing the PCY library since last year, after Mrs. Knight retired, “Mrs. Knight was a wonderful mentor, very encouraging, knowledgeable, and patient.”

According to Mrs. Tinglof, her favorite part of the job is helping students who are reluctant to read find books that they will love. She adamantly believes, “It’s all about finding the right book.”

Her own love of reading and writing stories began when she was very young, “Art has always been a part of my life. I’ve always enjoyed creating.” Eventually, it  led to her career as a travel writer and published author of several books.

Now, she has a new opportunity to express herself creatively every day, when she sits down with visiting classes to read a carefully selected story. “I love to act out the parts in the book. My chair is my stage, and I love entertaining them with the books.”

To get to know her even better, Mrs. Tinglof shared these Top 10 Fun Facts:

  • Her favorite travel destinations include Italy, the Grand Canyon, and Zion National Parks.
  • She loves Italian food and culture, especially since she herself is an Italian American.
  • Her favorite hobbies are hiking, gardening, and going to the beach. 
  • She grew up in New York City and moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Michigan State University.
  • Her move to L.A. was inspired by the Hollywood episodes of I Love Lucy. She loved to watch the reruns when she was growing up.
  • In addition to being a freelance writer and author, she has also worked for CBS Television.
  • She has published articles in major newspapers including, The Chicago Tribune, The L.A. Times, and The Boston Herald.
  • She has published several books on the subject of raising twins, which she has experienced firsthand.
  • She has taught English as a Second Language to refugees.
  • Two of her current book recommendations are One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia and The Green Bicycle by Haifaa Al Mansour.

Mrs. Tinglof is always finding new ways to get the students excited about reading. Every year, she is able to replenish worn out books and acquire new titles through donated funds, “I am very fortunate that the PTA supports this library.” When choosing new titles, she checks out lists by the New York Times as well as new award-winning books from Caldecott Medal and Newbery Medal. She also meets with the other district librarians on collaboration days to swap titles and ideas. Local bookstores, such as Once Upon a Time, periodically present them with the latest popular titles. She also enjoys listening to students share what they would like to read. “When I get a new book, I love to show it to the students and have a book talk. Sometimes, we have to do a rock, paper, scissors match, to see who gets to read it first.”

Amping up the Accelerated Reader program is another top priority. During the monthly PCY spirit rallies, she awards certificates to students who have accumulated 250 points in the reading program. Students who accomplish the grand task of accumulating 500 points are awarded with a medallion. “There are some students that I can’t keep in books! They come in here three or four times a week. They are voracious readers.”

For others who have not yet discovered an appreciation for reading, Mrs. Tinglof invites you to visit the PCY library and ask her for help. “There is a book for every child. It just may take time to find it.”