ALSC Econo-Clad Literature Program Award announced

Contact: Meredith Parets


For Immediate Release

February 7, 2003

ALSC Econo-Clad Literature Program Award announced

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce the selection of Jana Fine, Clearwater Main Library, Fla., as the recipient of the 2003 ALSC/Econo-Clad Literature Program Award for her R.E.A.D. (Reading for Elementary Achievement and Development) program. The ALSC/Econo-Clad Award is designed to honor an ALSC member who has developed and implemented a unique and outstanding reading or literature program for children.

Administered by ALSC and sponsored by Econo-Clad, a division of Sagebrush Corporation, the award will provide a grant of $1,000 to support Fine's attendance at the ALA Annual Conference in Toronto, June 2003.

The R.E.A.D. program is a collaborative effort between the public library, the Clearwater High School drop-out prevention program (GOALS) and several day care and Title 1 elementary schools. High school teens are trained to prepare and present pre-school storytimes to lower income or disadvantaged children in several school and daycare settings.

The teens provide literacy experiences and positive role models for the young children while increasing their own self-esteem and self-worth through this experience. The young children are introduced to books, poems and activities that reinforce the importance of reading and literacy in this win-win situation. Teens look forward to seeing their "kids" and the young children look forward to seeing their friends "from the big school" and being read to. The program has helped the teens' motivation to remain in school and increased their literacy, while the younger kids have gained valuable exposure to books and reading.

"The committee was particularly impressed with the collaborative nature of R.E.A.D. and the enthusiasm of both the children and the teens for the project," said chair Marge Loch-Wouters. "The focus on promoting literature and books with young children was an outstanding component of the project. We were happy to see the public library taking the lead in planning and developing a project that is tied so fundamentally to reading and books and extending literacy into the community."

Econo-Clad Committee members are: Jane Gardner Connor, South Carolina State Library; Patricia Dollisch, DeKalb County (Ga.) Public Library; Anna Healy, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Jacquelyn Viol, Kent District Library System (Mich.); and Marge Loch-Wouters (chair) Menasha Public Library (Wis.).