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Arts & Media

Library Time

Bringing information literacy and reading competencies to all students with the goal of helping them to become independent, life-long learners who are productive members of an ever-changing global community. The Naomi L. Brooks Elementary collection reflects the needs of its patrons with current materials relevant to the curriculum and interest. The library media center provides a setting where students can develop the skills necessary to locate, analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas in an effective manner.

The resources in the library media include fiction, nonfiction, biographies, and reference books. There are also audio and visual resources available for staff members to check out.

Book Selection

Students attend the library classes weekly. Books are checked out for a one-week period. They may be renewed for an additional two weeks if needed.

Students are encouraged to select books they can read independently. In the library we spend time discussing books for independent reading, exploring books by various authors and illustrators, and using the "five finger rule" to judge the readability of a book.

Kindergarten, first-grade, and second-grade students may select one book to check out each week.

Third-fifth grade students may select 2 books to check out each week.

Overdue Policy

We do not charge a fine for overdue books. Overdue notices are sent home weekly. Students with an overdue book or books may not check out additional books until the overdue items are returned.

Damaged and Lost Book Policy

If a book becomes accidentally damaged, please return the book with a note. We will gladly repair it. If a book becomes damaged beyond repair, we will send a bill for the replacement cost. A notice will be sent home with information about the replacement cost. Students with damaged/lost book fees may not check out additional books until the fees are paid.

Band and Orchestra

The Naomi L. Brooks Instrumental Music Program is directed by Mrs. Laura Torchia, and is open to all students in grades 4 and 5. Students are recruited and introduced to all available instruments during the second half of their 3rd-grade year.

After choosing their top three favorite instruments, students are assigned one of their choices. 

Classes start during the first week of school and are held weekly. If needed, additional instrumental support is provided after school.

Third grade students have the opportunity to learn the recorder. The recorder is taught to students in their music class during the second half of the school year. Using the treble clef staff, students are able to learn how to read notes and rhythms. In addition, students learn proper playing techniques such as breath control and posture for the instrument. At the end of the school year, students present a recorder recital to their family members. By learning recorder, third grade students are prepared for the instrumental music program that is offered to them in the fourth grade.


Students participate in two major public performances: a Winter and Spring Concert. Students may also participate in a plethora of outside performances, such as All-City Band, All-City Orchestra, Fiddle Fest, Solo and Ensemble Festival, and the Children’s Concert Series with the NOVA Alexandria Band.

  • Band 
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Alto saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Baritone
  • Percussion
  • Orchestra
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass 

For more information please contact Mrs. Laura Torchia, Band and Orchestra Teacher at:

Mrs. Laura Torchia has served as the Band and Orchestra Teacher at Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School since 2015. Mrs. Torchia is a 2013 graduate of James Madison University with a Bachelor’s of Music in Instrumental Music Education, and a minor in Jazz Studies, where she performed and held leadership roles in many ensembles, including the Marching Royal Dukes, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, “Little MAC'' Clarinet Quartet, and various JMU Jazz Combos. Torchia is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, a music honor society, the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA), the National Association for Music Educators (NafME), and the recipient of the 2012 William G. Posey Award for Band Service. Mrs. Torchia currently resides in Burke, Virginia, with her husband, and is working towards her Master’s degree in Arts Management from George Mason University.


At Naomi L. Brooks Elementary School, all students participate in at least one choir performance each school year. In Kindergarten, students sing at a holiday caroling event, at the Kindergarten Open House and at the end-of-year Kindergarten Celebration. Students in grades first, second, and third participate in one choir performance during the year. Fourth and fifth grade students sing in a Winter and Spring Concert. In addition, fifth grade students sing at their Promotion Ceremony in June.

Ms. Laura Sheikh, is Naomi Brooks’ Music Teacher.

Ms. Sheikh grew up in New Jersey, where she studied music throughout her childhood and developed a passion for the subject. She was accepted into the New Jersey Governor’s School of the Arts in the summer of 1999, which is when she decided to pursue a career in music. Ms. Sheikh attended Kenyon College from 2000-04, where she majored in music and minored in anthropology, graduating magna cum laude and being awarded Phi Beta Kappa. During this time, she realized her passion for teaching through various summer jobs where she worked with children. After graduating, Ms. Sheikh was a music teacher at a Montessori School in Reston, Virginia and realized that this was definitely the right career for her to pursue. She attended Montclair State University, where she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching degree and a certificate in teaching music to grades PreK-12 in 2007. Ms. Sheikh has worked for Alexandria City Public Schools since the 2007-08 school year. During her time with ACPS, Ms. Sheikh has continued to develop her musical skills by performing with local music groups and has also taken graduate coursework to enhance her teaching. In addition, Ms. Sheikh was awarded the ACPS Teacher of the Year award and a nomination for the Washington Post Teacher of the Year award in 2017.

For more information contact Ms. Sheikh at: