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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Columnists > Library Directors Corner

Public & School Libraries Partner

Oct 28, 2019

By Mary Paige Lang-Clouse - library director - ethelbert b.crawford public

The Sullivan County Public Library Alliance (SUPLA) partnered with the School Library System at Sullivan BOCES earlier this year to offer the first biannual Sullivan County Youth Book Festival in May. Our goal: to create, sustain, and nurture a culture of literacy in partnership with our community and schools. Public and school librarians and library staff and volunteers that work with children worked together for months putting together the festival to help build a better reading culture in the youth of the County.
As festival plans progressed public library staff learned of the academic-year long challenge created by the Sullivan BOCES school librarians - a Cross County Reading Challenge. Kids of all ages from all ends of the county competed - through their school - to see how many books the kids in each school could all read and record. The results were terrific - as you can see by visiting the Cross County Reading Challenge page on the Sullivan BOCES website.
County kids read over 14,500 books!
For the current school year students have read almost 4,500 books already so it looks like they're on track to far surpass last year's total. Right now 5th graders are in the lead having read 26.8% of the total number of books read with the 4th graders nipping at their heels at 24.5%. This challenge is in place for preschoolers through 12th-graders. So if you have a child/children read with and to them. Let them read to you. It is such a proud moment to experience your child putting those first letters into words and then words into sentences as they grasp reading. Share what you're reading - your excitement or your outrage with what you've read in the newspaper. Model a culture of reading in your home for your kids. And reading doesn't have to preclude your digital device.
Kids have access to free digital content, e-books and audiobooks, through their school library and through their public library too. I can't speak to how they are accessed through each school but all you need is a library card from your public library to access digital books through a platform called OverDrive. Call your local library and ask how you can start taking advantage of this free service. And another great thing about borrowing digital content through your public library is no overdue fines. What's not to like about that!
As we begin making plans for the 2021 Sullivan County Youth Book Festival, SUPLA is super-excited to know that our public school library partners continue to build that culture of reading. Who knows, amongst the children in our schools today could be the next J.K Rowling, that child with the imagination and inclination to put their idea to paper and change the world for the next generation of readers.

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