Posts published in the Grants category

Outreach Department Gets New “Walking Books” Bags

Friday, March 7th, 2014
Outreach Department staff members Nancy Danielson, Linda Agee and Jan Miller show off the new "Walking Books" delivery bags, purchased with donor-restricted funds.

Outreach Department staff members Nancy Danielson, Linda Agee and Jan Miller show off the new “Walking Books” delivery bags, purchased with donor-restricted funds.

Thanks to our generous donors, The Library Foundation was able to make a grant to the Library’s Outreach Department to purchase new delivery bags for the Walking Books program.  This outreach program delivers library materials to patrons who cannot easily travel to the Library due to physical limitations.  Staff and volunteers deliver new materials on a monthly basis to patrons, based on their interests, and return items checked out from the previous month.

According to Allison Eckhardt, Outreach Department Manager, the Library was in desperate need of additional delivery bags, as some patrons have been receiving their materials in plastic grocery bags.  The Walking Books delivery bags are a heavily-reinforced synthetic fabric with sturdy handles and a zippered closure, bearing the Library’s screen-printed logo and “Walking Books” on one side.

The Library Foundation frequently accepts gifts from donors who have a specific Library program or service they wish to support.  Click here to make a donation today.

To find out more about the Library’s Walking Books program, or to volunteer to help, call Walking Books at 883-6112 Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Bruce Cameron: Dogs, Dads and Teenage Daughters

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Bruce_CameronThanks to donors like you and the Library Foundation’s Cultural Arts Endowment Fund, the Library is able to bring author W. Bruce Cameron to Springfield during the Big Read at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 10.  Cameron will blend his wit and love for dogs for the Big Read presentation: “Come. Sit. Stay, An Evening with Bruce Cameron.”

Cameron hams it up in his “Unauthorized biography” on his own official website, but here’s the straight (we think) story about him (but you really should read his funnier version on his website): He always wanted to be a writer and sold his first short story at age 16 to the Kansas City Star for $50. He attended Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., was editor of the literary magazine and student newspaper. After college he became a freelance writer while doing a host of other jobs to make real money.

In 1995 he started an online Internet column with six subscribers. At its peak, he says, the Cameron Column had 40,000 subscribers. As he tells it, “I showed my columns to the Rocky Mountain News and in 1998 they began featuring me weekly in their Home Front section. Before long I was considered one of their most popular columnists… A column I’d written, ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,’ was crazy popular, so I turned it into a full book on the subject.”

His writing career took off after that, with national TV, magazine and radio exposure. Cameron explains, “Oliver North (bet you didn’t see this coming!) took an interest in ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter’ because he has a teenage daughter. He had me on his radio show and introduced me to Creator’s Syndicate, which picked me up in October 2001.”

For more information on this and other Big Read 2014 events, check out the Big Read website.

What did you read this summer?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Summer is a time for riding bikes, staying up late and splashing in the pool or lake. It’s also a time of special risk for reading skill loss. Kids who don’t read during summer break —  especially those from low income families — can lose up to two to three months of reading skills, which can add up to an entire grade level by the time they reach middle school.

Research shows that kids who read on their own, simply because they love books, are likely to score higher on reading tests. Practicing reading increases their fluency and comprehension.

This summer 18,359 children and teens in Greene County (31% of all county youth) participated in Springfield-Greene County Library’s Summer Reading Program. Of that number, over one third participated in the program through Library Outreach programs at Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and other area youth facilities.

Parents surveyed said that their kids were excited about reading and that they loved the programs, activities and incentives.  The kids were proud of their accomplishments, and they developed a love of reading that will serve them life long.

The Summer Reading Program is made possible partly through proceeds from the Friends of the Library book sales, and grants from The Library Foundation.  The Library couldn’t reach this many children without our supporters. Thank you for helping kids love to read!

‘Turning Points’ Civil War Series Draws Huge Crowds

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Grants from The Library Foundation helped support Turning Points, a week-long series of Civil War lectures and events that drew over 1,000 people to the Springfield-Greene County Library in July.  The series was developed in response to the overwhelming public feedback asking for additional Civil War programming following the very popular Battle of Springfield programs held at the Library this past January.  Turning Points explored and commemorated major Civil War events that transpired in 1863.

Granville Automatic in concert at the Library Center

The Library Foundation provided donor-designated funds to host a presentation on the capture of Little Rock by noted author and Civil War historian Mark Christ.  Funds from The Library Foundation’s Cultural Arts Endowment Fund also helped sponsor a concert at the Library Center by Granville Automatic, with singer-songwriters Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins performing haunting and lyrical compositions inspired by the Civil War.

“I want to thank The Library Foundation for their support of the Turning Points series this past July,” said Brian Grubbs, Local History Department Manager for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, and organizer of the series. Grubbs stated that many Library patrons commented on how much they enjoyed the series and asked when the next Civil War series was planned.  Based on the high level of interest, a series commemorating Sterling Price’s raid in Missouri, as well as other national Civil War-related events, is being considered for the fall of 2014.

The Library Foundation depends on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations to be able to support programs such as Turning Points.  Your tax-deductible contribution to The Library Foundation can be made online and can be designated for particular programs or services provided by the Library.

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grant Takes Summer Reading Digital

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Dollar General Literacy Foundation is helping the Library encourage lower-income kids to keep up their summer reading skills while making it accessible and fun on new technology – e-readers. The goal is to narrow the technology gap for low-income students while increasing their reading skills, according to Library Foundation Director Valerie Richardson, who submitted the request on behalf of the Foundation.

The Dollar General $2,500 grant has allowed the Library to purchase six variations of e-readers loaded with 24 different books geared for teen and pre-teen readers. The e-readers will be rotated among three Boys & Girls Club locations during the summer. In a series of six sessions at the clubs, Library Outreach staff are meeting with the participants to help demystify the technology and conduct book discussions about the titles. The kids can experiment with the software on the devices and get comfortable using them.

Grant funds have also been used to purchase print copies of the books, so they can be checked out and taken home.  During the sessions, the kids have also debated the value of digital book formats and “bookless libraries.”

The Library will keep the e-readers for use during year-round and successive summer reading programs, and will add new titles to the devices.

Kids, Parents Invited to Rollout of Early Learning Stations and Toys May 5

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Children and families are invited to have some fun at each of the branch libraries all day Thursday, May 5, when the library rolls out the new Racing to Read project. There will also be drawings for free books for families that attend.

Racing to Read is a library program that encourages play and talk between parents and children to teach little ones the skills they need to be prepared for kindergarten. Early learning stations are at the Library Center, Library Station, and the Republic, Brentwood and Midtown Carnegie branches. The other branches will include many of the same toys and activities

The activities encourage imagination, conversation and exploration – all essential for children to be open to learning.

“Reading, talking and playing are fun, easy and valuable ways parents can help their young children learn,” said district youth services coordinator Nancee Dahms-Stinson.

“Playing is the foundation for learning for children, and when it’s paired with parental interaction, its value is immeasurable,” Nancee said.

The youth services staff is developing Racing to Read through generous grants from the Rotary Club of Springfield, Rotary Club District 6080, the Library Foundation and the Missouri Parent Information Resource Center Southwest.

The library will continue building on Racing to Read with parenting workshops and more activities in the future.

“Each time you visit the Library, you and your child will find something new and delightful to discover and explore,” Nancee added. “The learning part is up to you and your child; the library is your resource.”

Library Foundation Announces Two New Grants

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The Library Foundation approved two new grants for the Library District:

  • A $5,000 grant from the Annie Busch Fund for Early Literacy will benefit the Library’s new early literacy initiative, Racing to Read.
  • A $4,500 grant will support enhancements to the young adult nonfiction collection.

Racing to Read will build upon the recent growth and success of the Library’s early literacy programming. The initiative will promote five key strategies for building early literacy skills: Love Books, Sing & Rhyme, Tell Stories, Talk and Read, and Play with Letters.

These strategies will be branded in a highly visible marketing campaign to ensure that every parent and caregiver who visits a children’s space at the Library or attends a library program will be exposed to early literacy in a consistent and memorable way. As part of the initiative, the Library will purchase new literacy skill-building toys, games and activities for each branch. The activities, with the promotional materials, will create early learning environments that invite curiosity in children and promote early literacy skills to parents in a way that’s easy to understand.

The initiative will include special educational materials for low-income families served by the Library’s outreach program at Head Start, the WIC clinic and other agencies. These families will receive take-home magnets and early literacy skills cards. Parents will be encouraged to use the magnets to display handouts, booklists and activities sheets they receive at programs. The five different “flashcards,” one for each strategy, will have booklists and activities to do at home.

In 2009, local kindergarten readiness scores showed that 37 percent of our children were not ready to learn to read when they started school. The Racing to Read initiative directly addresses that problem and promotes the Library as a vital partner and resource for parents, caregivers and community agencies in helping children be ready to learn when they enter school.

Racing to Read is possible through support from the Library Foundation, the Rotary Club of Springfield and Rotary District 6080.