B&G Club and Library Develops Partnership for Kids

article posted 07/07/2015
B & G Club and Vonore Public Library Create Pact to Help Kids The Vonore Public Library and Boys and Girls Club of the Monroe Area are joining forces to help children improve their reading skills during the summer months. “Partnerships between community organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Vonore Public Library are a great way to strengthen our impact on children here in Monroe County; plus the Library is a wonderful educational resource for children and families alike here in our community,” said Tracie Hall Member of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club. “After talking with Dr. Anthony Tricoli for just 30 seconds, I knew that he was in full support of this project and that our Summer Reading Program was going to be connected to the Boys and Girls Club,” said Winnie Okamura, Volunteer Coordinator for the Friends of the Library organization. She continued, “Dr. Tricoli and Staci Self Dean and their staff were very interested in this program, and their proactive response guaranteed this project would be a success for Club kids.” Nicole Tipton, Vonore Public Library Director said, “We have issued a library card to the Boys and Girls Club and each child has begun reading books that match his or her interests." Each child has a goal of reading 15 books through the Summer Reading Program. “So far, the children are on schedule to meet their reading goal of 15 books each,” said Director Tipton. The summer months are particularly difficult on a child’s education. Studies clearly indicate that many children lose several months of education memory during the break from May through August. Programs like the Library’s Summer Reading Program help children to maintain their reading skills. Those skills will be needed as soon as the fall semester starts again in August. “We love that the Boys & Girls Club leadership was so eager to help their children maintain their level of literacy through the summer,” said Okumura. Judy Carson the Unit Director for the Boys and Girls Club in both Vonore and Madisonville said, “We understand the importance of helping or children to maintain (and even grow) their academic levels during the summer session. This partnership with the Vonore Public Library is a perfect match for us and our children during the summer or at any other time. Our kids just lit up when they took their tour of the library. I think many of our kids would have loved to stay there at the library all day long.” “This is exactly what we were hoping would happen,” said Okumura and Tipton. "The theme of this year's summer reading program is Every Hero has a Story. We encourage children to read about heroes and learn about heroes in their own community. We want them to realize that they can be heroes too,” said Okumura. In addition, the Club kids toured the Vonore Heritage Museum with Edna Blankenship, who explained many interesting artifacts. Club kids were also delighted by a surprise visit by Vonore's Mayor, Bob Lovingood. Mayor Lovingood took time out of his busy schedule to talk with the children about the duties of a mayor. The children loved hearing from Mayor Lovingood, as his visit with the children simply added to an already very educational afternoon. The Boys & Girls Club is always looking for community members to come out and read to our children. The Club has several sites located throughout Monroe County and would welcome any adult who would like to read to these children. If you’d like to read to our younger children you may do so by calling the Club at (423) 442-6770, or you can reach out to the Friends of the Vonore Public Library by calling the Library Volunteer Coordinator - Winnie Okumura at (423) 884-6729.