Each month one of my tasks is lining up Stories 2000 readers. For some reason last week seeing the notation 2000 on my "to do" list made a childhood memory pop up.
When the calendar turned over to 1960, a friend and I talked about how hard it would be to remember to write a 6 instead of a 5 when we dated our school papers. After all, we had never known anything else. From there we went through the decades and decided that when 2000 came it would be weird. My friend Nedra then said "We'll be so old we won't care." We were born in 1950. You do the math.
Anyway, along with being weird, 2000 was the beginning for a service provided by the Cherokee Public Library. That was the year we signed on as a pilot participant for Christie Vilsack's literacy initiative and developed our Stories 2000 project, which consisted of sending volunteer readers each month to the community center during the WIC clinic and handing out a new book to each attending child. I am really proud to say that it's still going strong after more than 10 years! It's one of the best ways I have seen to spread the word that reading and books are important early in childhood and I hope it continues for a long time to come.
There has always been a great group of readers although it has changed off and on over the years. I thank everyone who has ever been part of it and would like to acknowledge those who participated in 2012.
First on the list is John O'Connor who was a reader every month. Jolene Schumacher, Jean Miller, Paula Burch and Sue Reinert made it there eleven of the twelve scheduled times. Susan Julius accounted for eight visits and Roni Timmerman was a reader seven times. Our children's librarian Peg Wurth was there on a regular basis filling in the gaps and Lori Thomas and Muffy Semerad helped out also. I really appreciate the time and consistency these people provided.
The books given out each month are courtesy of annual funding from the Cherokee County Supervisors. Without their support this project would have ended long ago so a special thank you goes to that group. Another special thank you goes to Jolene Schumacher who month after month picks up the crazy orange tote bag loaded with books and gets everything set up. She has been doing this for years and I cannot tell you how much it is appreciated.
Anyone who would be interested in being a reading volunteer is welcome to call me at 225-3498. It only takes an hour a month and is well worth the effort.
Please note - The library will be closed Monday, January 21 for Martin Luther King Day.