2008 ALSC “Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved” Grant Winner named

Contact: Jenny Najduch
ALSC Marketing Specialist
(312) 280-4026
jnajduch@ala.org
For Immediate Release,
February 19, 2008

2008 ALSC “Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved” Grant Winner named

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded the Rogers Public Library in Rogers, Ark., its 2008 “Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved” grant.

The grant is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. As winner of the grant, the Rogers Public Library will receive $5,000 to continue its exceptional outreach to underserved populations.

The Rogers Public Library's program, “Bilingual Teens as Teachers and Tutors,” will have Americorps volunteers train bilingual teens to serve as tutors and role models to elementary school children who need help learning English. Many of the children involved are from Spanish-speaking homes of migrant families who do not frequently use the public library. The program's goal is to help children improve their language skills, self-confidence and cultural awareness-allowing them to succeed in school.

Honor awards were given to the Port Isabel Public Library in Port Isabel, Texas and the Hancock County Library System in Bay St. Louis, Miss. The Port Isabel Public Library's project, “Children's Book Club to the Rescue,” will enable preschool children of non-English-speaking families to gain literacy skills. The Hancock County Library System in Bay St. Louis' project “Pearlington Summer Reading Program” will establish a summer reading program in the Pearlington library, which due to Hurricane Katrina, is currently operating out of a FEMA trailer.

ALSC is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children's and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for all children by creating better opportunities. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2008 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers (LSSPCC) Committee include: Martha Simpson, chair, Stratford Library Association, Conn.; Dr. John B. Harer, East Carolina University, Joyner Library, N.C.; Barbara Klipper, Ferguson Library Main Library, Stamford, Conn..; Erin Nguyen, Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N.C.; William Reed, Cleveland Public Library, Ohio; Danielle Shapiro, Brooklyn Public Library Highlawn Branch, N.Y.; Kristin Starnes, Corvallis-Benton County Library, Ore.; Jessica Trujillo, New Brunswick Free Public Library, N.J.