Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading Across America with Sterling Elementary School

 A nation wide reading initiative would not be the same without participation from our public libraries; and like many libraries around our nation, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library supported Read Across America. Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program sponsored by the National Education Association. It is a call for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, which happens to be the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The outreach department celebrated reading with students at Sterling Elementary School.

We wanted the kindergarten students at Sterling Elementary school to celebrate reading beyond that day. Children should have access to books after the last school bell rings.  Our goal was to make sure each child had enough books to start a home library. The 2001 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study states that students from homes with more than ten children's books had significantly  higher average reading score then students form homes with ten or fewer books. Each kindergarten student at Sterling Elementary school received three books, including a Dr. Seuss classic, to start their home library. Assistant Principal Kim Odom stated that during their last staff meeting, they discussed the students reaction when they received their books and one student was so happy, she cried! When we offered to give the students more books, Assistant Principal Odom replied, "Anytime we can get more books in their hands, we will do whatever is necessary to make it happen."

How and why does the public library give away books? Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has a vision to create opportunities for personal success in reading and learning for everyone. We are committed to building a highly literate and educated community. Working with our local school system and reaching out to young children, especially those identified as at risk, is a great way to reach this goal and make a positive difference in a child's life.

Outreach Coordinators hand out books for home library.

Now, how do we give away books, especially in these tough economic times when libraries are closing and reducing service hours? We depend on volunteers like you and other members of our community. Book give-a-ways, like the one at Sterling Elementary school are made possible by  community book drives. Books that are collected are distributed to children and families in need and they are used for our Community Book Shelf program. Interested in hosting a community book drive? Would you like additional information on our Community Book Shelf program, follow the "community book drives" link and start supporting your community and public library today! 

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