Grant Affirms Importance of Summer Reading
Keeping kids reading in the summer is important—so important that Altrusa International of Spokane agreed to fund a $2500 grant for a Spokane Public Library summer reading program for children at the West Central Community Center (WCCC). Along with the money comes something we can't even put a price on - volunteer hours from Altrusa members. Altrusa felt the grant was a perfect fit for them, since they funded a lending library at WCCC last year. This year's grant builds on the lending library and helps put it to greater use with the help of volunteers.
The grant also pays for some special summer reading activities sponsored by the library. Now youngsters in West Central, who do not have a library in their neighborhood, can attend some of the fun activities we normally present at the libraries. The volunteers will help sign the kids up for summer reading, show them how to track their books on the reading log, and encourage and assist them with reading. Everybody wins—both the library and Altrusa get to further their missions of assisting with literacy in the community. The on-site presence of the library and volunteers exemplifies the type of service the library strives for in encouraging kids to read. And the kids get the biggest win of all - they get to read and attend summer reading special events at their community center.
Why is reading the biggest win of all? Well, certainly the enjoyment of reading is huge, but reading during the summer for school kids is immensely important. One of the greatest predictors of success in school is reading on grade level by grade three. Research has shown that kids who DON'T read in the summer actually lose educational progress and have a hard time catching up when school starts again. The cumulative loss over many summers adds up, and kids who don't read in the summer have a really hard time in school. Struggling in school is a barrier to many things, including self-esteem, graduation, and pursuit of further education. The quality time spent with books in the summer makes a huge difference, and that is the top reason why Spokane Public Library sponsors summer reading programs every year. That, and it's also a lot of fun!
Many thanks to Altrusa International of Spokane for funding the grant to bring the library's summer reading program to kids at the West Central Community Center. We're very grateful to their assistance in making books and reading an active part of kids' lives in Spokane.
Hey kids and teens, here's your summer reading to-do list:
1. Sign-up anytime on or after June 1.
2. Check our website for the list of great programs we have scheduled.
3. Stop by the library and get some books (and book recommendations) to set you on the path to reading 15 books or 15 hours this summer.
4. Attend programs at the library.
5. Track your progress on the Summer Reading log.
6. Turn in your Summer Reading log and get a free book to keep, courtesy of the Friends of Spokane Public Library.
7. Sit back, relax and feel proud of your summer reading progress (and why not pick up a book since you're just sitting and relaxing?!)
Have Fun (oh, and learn a new language) with PowerSpeak
Are you planning to travel abroad? Do you have a job where Spanish would come in handy? Struggling with a language class in school? Or maybe you just think it would be fun to learn a new language? If you've ever wanted to explore a second (or third, or fourth) language, your library card now gives you free access to PowerSpeak Languages, an online resource.
PowerSpeak combines two of the Internet's best features: It's interactive and it's available all the time. It boasts fun games to help you learn faster, plus videos featuring language coaches. From any Internet connection, you can access PowerSpeak&'s games and videos around the clock.
Designed to help you learn a language faster, PowerSpeak mixes together several teaching methods. Not content with rote memorization or simple listen-and-repeat drills, PowerSpeak aims to gradually build comprehension by transitioning you from your old language into a new one. One technique weaves the new language together with your own. Plus, it lets you track your progress right there online. It does everything online, in fact—no print manuals, CDs, or software to download.
Currently, PowerSpeak offers Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin Chinese. And it's not just for English speakers—it includes English for Spanish speakers, too. It's also about more than just languages. Every language is part of a bigger culture, so PowerSpeak illustrates customs and social trends related to the culture associated with each language. You learn more about the world—not just the words.
If you want to give PowerSpeak a try, just go to our website, click “Subscription Databases ” on the Research menu, and find PowerSpeak on the alphabetical list. It's that simple. And it's free! Exploring another language and culture just got easier.
Library Wins Grant by...Picking Apples?
Virtual apples, that is! The library recently had fun competing in the Inland Northwest Community Foundation's (INWCF) apple picking game, which pairs two nonprofit organizations to see who can pick the most apples from the INWCF website's apple tree. Over several weeks, library supporters spared bits of time now and then to visit the website, click a few apples, and drag them into a basket. All told, the library picked 67,335 apples—over 10,000 more than its rival, the Friends of KSPS. P.J. Watters of INWCF and Greg Mason of Intermountain Community Bank, who co-sponsor the game, presented our Board of Trustees with a certificate of recognition, and $250 was added to the library's endowment account with INWCF. Many thanks to our supporters for their help, and to INWCF for selecting us to participate!
Yes, You Can Do That in the Library!
And we did! Final numbers are in and this year's You Can't Do That in the Library! party raised $12,392 for the Library Foundation endowment account! This is a record for this event, now in its fifth year, and we couldn't be more pleased.
The Spokane Public Library Foundation is very grateful to event sponsors: Witherspoon Kelley Attorneys and Counselors, David's Pizza, Steam Plant Grill, River Park Square and Hollister-Stier.
For more information about the Library Foundation and how to support it please see the Support the Library page of our website or contact Foundation Director Sandra Kernerman at 444-5318.
Join us for The Big Chill on June 8 at 5:30 at the Downtown Library. Free, of course!
See you in the library for some great programs this summer! Sign up online at summerreadingspokane.org.
Was this your favorite book of 2011? Teens can exercise their right to vote...for their favorite book. Which of the 25 nominated books will make it to this year's top ten?! It's really up to you. Find out more here .
Our WorkSource lab is open for those needing assistance with job searches, resume preparation and other employment-related work.
Spokane is Reading is going above and beyond this year - above and beyond the Earth's atmosphere with Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void.
South Hill's Heart of Spirituality book discussion group is on hiatus until the fall, but you can get a head start on the reading if you'd like. Contact the library for the list.
F stands for "Friend." Be our "Friend" or "like" us or whatever - it's a good way to hear the latest about the library. "Share" us with your "friends" so they'll "like" us too.
Reading is exercise for your brain. Walking or cycling to the library is exercise for your body. We have bike racks outside all of the libraries; please remember to bring a lock. Also good to know is that helmets are the law in Spokane and there's also no sidewalk riding in the downtown core.