Pictured: Natalie Warren, Rolling Hills Program Coordinator; Donna King, Children’s Librarian Guernsey County District Public Library; and Shana Fair, Speaker Host.
“Libraries are the gate to the future.” Donna King, Children’s Librarian at Guernsey County Public Library, introduced herself by quoting from children’s author Neil Gaiman. The Guernsey County Library offers programming that helps prepare kids for their future. King added that this year children’s programming is being offered at Main and Byesville as well as at Crossroads.
King has been a children’s librarian for over 25 years. She stated that she “loves her job. It is never boring, always changing, and when children’s eyes light up with wonder, it includes a little ‘magic’.”
King said the library offers programming for infants to teens. Many programs are aimed at pre-school children and kindergarteners. Some children in these age groups enter school lacking the literacy skills they need to be successful in school. Participating in library programs is one way to introducing babies and toddlers to books which will help them develop needed literacy skills. Information about fall programming for children and youth can be found on the library’s home page at http://www.gcdpl.lib.oh.us/ .
King stated that in addition to providing programs to organizations such as Head Start and other pre-school organizations, library staff helps interested parents and caregivers develop habits that will help their children develop reading skills. King pointed out that activities as easy as sitting down with a child, looking at a picture book, and talking with the child about the pictures is a great start. Adults can also recite nursery rhymes or sing songs with their kids. More tips for helping children get ready to read can be found at http://everychildreadytoread.org .
Natalie Warren, grant program coordinator for the Rolling Hills School district, accompanied Hill to the meeting. Guernsey County Library and Rolling Hills are partners in a joint project funded by a $200,000 21st Century Community Learning Center Competitive Grant. Warren reported that over 200 Ohio schools applied for the grant. Rolling Hills is 1 of 20 schools that received the grant.
At Rolling Hills, the program funded by the grant is called C.O.L.T.S. Club. Warren explained the program offers before and after school activities focusing on 4 areas—reading/literacy, math, student development, and family engagement. She stated that economically disadvantaged students showing low performance in language arts and math were invited to participate. Sixty slots were quickly filled. The program currently has a waiting list indicating parents recognize the need for additional educational opportunities.
Warren explained that students enrolled in C.O.L.T.S. may arrive early at school. Help in reading and math is offered in morning sessions. After school sessions offer snacks and homework help. Mondays and Tuesdays, students will focus on reading and literacy; on Wednesdays, math. Thursday activities vary and include family fun nights, athletics, game nights, field trips, and technology exploration.
Connect with Byesville Rotary at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byesville-Rotary/256548047818283. The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Walk-ins are welcome at the club’s meeting.