2015 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2015 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to the Florida Public Library, Florida, New York.

This grant is designed to encourage outstanding summer reading programs by providing financial assistance, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development.  The program must be open to all children from birth to age 14. Programming that provides for inclusion of children with physical and mental disabilities is encouraged.  This $3,000 grant is made possible by Baker & Taylor, a leading distributor of books, videos and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers.

Florida Public Library will use the funds to implement summer programming for children of all ages focused on superheroes, from local heroes and sports heroes to mythological heroes and the ever-popular comic book superheroes. Highlights will include bilingual storytimes for children of migrant families, a special storytime for children needing a calmer environment, Makerspace programs and an ice cream social.

To complement programs featuring local K-9 officers and their animal heroes and opportunities to read to a therapy dog, the children will make tied fleece blankets for local animal shelters. Other programs will look at the use of technology by military heroes, super villains and super heroes. Additionally, a drawing program by Marvel comic book artist Mark McKenna will emphasize the elements of art in drawing comics to visually depict heroic qualities.

The committee is excited to help the Florida Public Library offer such engaging programs this summer,” said Susan Poulter, grants administration committee chair. “Including special programming for families that may speak Spanish at home as well as a gentle storytime for those needing a more low-key experience will make the library a more welcoming place for everyone in the community.”

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2015 ALSC Grant Administration committee include: Susan Poulter, chair, Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; Sondra Sue Eklund, Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library; Kathleen Neil, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Md.; Amy Sears, Teaneck (N.J.) Public Library; Jennifer M. Smith, Suffern (N.Y.) Free Library;  Elizabeth Stalford, Bellevue (Wash.) Public Library; Laurie Swartwout, Cardinal Stritch University Library, Milwaukee; and Andrea Vernola, Kalamazoo (Mich.) Public Library.