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Association for Library Service to Children Awards Grants

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On Friday, January 17, 2014, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (A.L.A.), has awarded the 2014 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to the Chesterfield (Va.) County Public Library and the 2014 Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award to the Keene (N.H.) Public Library. The ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program 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 fourteen. 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 major distributor of books, videos and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers.

The Chesterfield County Public Library (CCPL) will use the grant funds for the program, PAWS TO READ. The program will feature a trained reading therapist, reading mentors and therapy dogs from Sprite’s Hero, Inc. and Caring Canines to work with children and teens in preventing summer reading loss.

Registration will be open to all readers and those with special needs, and the library plans to donate meals to homeless animals at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in recognition of readers. The reading therapist will also provide training for CCPL staff to better assist parents and children in selecting books and reading materials.

“The committee is extremely excited about this Summer Reading Program, which involves all readers in the community and includes those who need additional assistance to keep reading,” said Nancy Baumann, 2014 ALSC Grant Administration Chair. “PAWS TO READ keeps children reading over the summer in an innovative way, provides training for library staff, and promotes reading as a community service to assist homeless animals.”

The Maureen Hayes Author/Illustrator Visit Award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, is designed to provide up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author/illustrator who will speak to children who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to hear from a nationally known author/illustrator.

The Keene Public Library, in collaboration with the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the Martin Luther King Jr./Jonathan Daniels Committee, the Historical Society of Cheshire Country and the Jonathan Daniels Elementary School will present programming about civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement. This programming will highlight the 75th anniversary of Jonathan Daniels’ birth and the 50th anniversary of his death.

Authoress Andrea Davis Pinkney will speak about her work and the Civil Rights Movement at the elementary school and present a public lecture for the community. Additionally, a Created Equal Grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute will provide a series of discussion programs focusing on the changing definition of freedom and equality in American. All the programming will be offered to children as well as adults in the community.

“All the committee members felt stakeholders collaborated to plan an event with great meaning to the community,” said Ms. Baumann. “Focusing on an important local person connected to the Civil Rights Movement provides children and adults a look into a piece of history that changed America and their own community."

Members of the 2014 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include Nancy Baumann, University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; Sondra Sue Eklund, Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library; Jonathan Hunt, San Diego (Calif.) County Office of Education; Susan Poulter, Main Library Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; Elizabeth Stalford, Bellevue (Wash.) Public Library; Julie Danielson, Deanna Mae Romriell, Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library; Patty Saidenberg, New York, N.Y.; and Destinee Sutton, Burien (Wash.) Library. The ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers, and educators, the ALSC is commits itself "to creating a better future for children through libraries."

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