2016 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant Winner

Photo of the library's exteriorMadison County Public Libraries Awarded 2016 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2016 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to Madison County Public Libraries (MCPL), Marshall, North Carolina.
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.
The summer reading program presented by director Melanie Morgan has an impressive amount of community support.  MCPL is partnering with several other community organizations, including the Sheriff’s Office and the Mountain Opportunities Center, to present a summer reading program which will encourage children to realize their potential through education and emphasize the importance literacy plays in their lives.  Along with the program, they are planning to launch the first Madison County Literacy Council.
The theme for the program is “On your Mark, Get Set, Read!”  Male and female sports teams from Mars Hill University and Madison High School and the minor league baseball team the AshevilleTourist will offer interactive programs.  There will also be dance-themed programs in partnership with a local dance studio and an appearance by the Bailey Mountain Cloggers, a group that travels worldwide, dancing and teaching about Appalachian history and culture.
Tied in to the sports theme but reaching out to children with disabilities, the library will have a representative and athlete from Special Olympics North Carolina visit the library and talk about the program and how to become involved.  They will host an Olympic Day in partnership with the Marshall Fire Department, including opportunities to get wet with a fire hose.
“There is so much that is creative about the MCPL program,” said Sondra Eklund, Grant Administration Committee Chair.  “The program works with other local organizations, highlights matters of local interest, reaches out to children and families, and pays attention to the needs of children with disabilities.  The committee particularly liked the Outdoor Adventure Series which includes things like a family reading challenge, research based scavenger hunt, a geocaching adventure to local historic sites and even a hike on part of the Appalachian Trail that passes by the library.  We are pleased to help make this well-planned and innovative program a reality.”
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 2016 ALSC Grant Administration committee include: Sondra Eklund, chair, Fairfax (Virginia) County Public Library; Robert Bittner, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia; Gwen Denney Vanderhage, Williamsport, Pennsylvania;  Kathleen Neil, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Maryland; Jennifer M. Smith, Suffern (New York) Free Library; Laurie Swartwout, Cardinal Stritch University Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Carol Elaine Trujillo-Fay, Alberquerque, New Mexico; Andrea Vernola, Kalamazoo (Michigan) Public Library.

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