One of the first things on my schedule for the New Year at the Cherokee Public library was to line up the Stories 2000 readers for the January WIC clinic.
Our connection with the WIC clinic began in 2000 as part of a literacy effort by Christie Vilsack. She invited several libraries throughout the state to initiate a pilot project she called Stories 2000. Teams of public librarians and school librarians were asked to develop an outreach program in their community to promote reading and literacy to a segment of the population that was not being adequately served.
Betty Resch, former media specialist with the Cherokee Community School and I attended a luncheon at Terrace Hill, listened to Christie's "pitch" and came home to put a plan in action. Our choice was to make an effort to reach preschoolers in the county hoping that it would result in kids who appreciated reading and books.
We approached the people who run the WIC Clinic with the idea of providing volunteers to read to the children who attended and sending a free book home with each child. We were obviously successful as the Stories 2000 program in Cherokee is still in operation! It is the only one in the state that has survived this long.
I have been fortunate in developing a core group of volunteer readers and I would like to thank them by listing their names and the number of times they read throughout the past year. Those dedicated people include John O'Connor (12), Jolene Schumacher (11), Jean Miller (11), Phyllis Miller (8), Roni Timmerman (5), Donna Henrich (5) and Lisa Kellen (4). Others who helped out were Mary Hahn, Joanne Clark, Lori Thomas, Joan Kelly, Nancy Reuter, Ron Johnson and Amber Messerole.
A very special thanks is due to Jolene who picks up the books and sets things up at the community center. I also thank the Cherokee County Supervisors whose annual allotment has made purchasing books possible.
As we go into 2010 I invite anyone who would be interested to participate. Reading slots are one hour long and you do not need to read every month. You never know what situation you will encounter.
You may have three to four children sitting on your lap listening to a book or you may hit an hour with very little activity. Either way it is important that we have someone available to read from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call 225-3498 if you would like to volunteer.
Barring any weather complications, the library is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please call ahead if you have any doubts about weather conditions as our priority is to make sure our staff reaches home safely. The library will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 in observation of Martin Luther King Day.