The Snyder County Libraries are thrilled to have been approved to be an Educational Improvement Organization, able to accept EITC funding from participating businesses. For more information and to discuss our funding needs, please call Pam Ross, Executive Director at 570-374-7163 or email her here.
We have 3 approved programs, all of which greatly expand upon and enhance children’s public school experience. These programs are:
The Gelnett Library has partnered with the Box of Light (BOL) of Bloomsburg, offering Lego Film, Robotics, Minecraft events in Selinsgrove for the last 9 months. Box of Light is a digital arts studio that brings 21st Century skills (creativity, media literacy, literacy, STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to underserved populations in rural PA. A basic tenet of their work is that in terms of media creation, digital publishing and technology, geography doesn’t matter as much as skills and knowledge. If Snyder County children and teens develop these high-tech skills, a new world of opportunities will be available to them, regardless of where they live.
The events that BOL presents in Selinsgrove typically sell out, demonstrating that Snyder County children have a tremendous interest in BOL’s offerings. We expandedthe program to include 2 summer camps, and could offer so much more, to so many more children, if we have EITC funding. In order to make these preliminary programs available, we have needed to charge students to attend, something very contrary to the basic nature of free public libraries. Since we have determined that there is a real thirst for these programs in Snyder County, we wish a) to make these programs available to all Snyder County children, for free; b) to expand geographically by also providing classes and events at the Beavertown Community Library, in the underserved Western Snyder County area; c) to expand the selection of events and activities that are available, broadening the reach of the program.
In order to reinforce the skills taught at these programs, the library will need to purchase additional technology-related equipment. We anticipate that children will use this equipment to create projects both for personal enrichment and to enrich homework and school-related assignments. They would use this technology after school, on weekends and other times when school isn’t in session.
The Rudy Gelnett Library hosts a highly successful Improv Group that was developed by high school students a few years ago. These students wanted to improve their own improvisational and acting skills, while also teaching other students these skills. The students have very limited opportunities to develop these skills at school, and we were pleased to offer them this opportunity to supplement their public school experience. The leaders of this group have graduated, and we wish to build upon the strong foundation that they created.
Our goal is to expand upon their success by a) expanding the program to reach preteens; b) incorporating professional acting programs such as the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble’s Theatre In the Classroom program (Midsummer’s Night Dream for 2015) and related PA Core compliant workshops. We also plan to work with Mr. Harvey Edwards and the Selinsgrove Area High School Tolerance Troupe. These programs will occur after school and during school breaks, including the summer.
Snyder County Libraries supports the Pennsylvania Early Childhood Education Standards and the Pennsylvania Core Standards through free programming that is provided outside of normal school hours and throughout the summer when schools are not in session. Our Summer Reading program incorporates a logging feature where students can log and track their reading in order to achieve a library, personal or school-recommended reading goal. Incentives are offered to keep children reading during the non-academic year, promoting literacy skills practice and a love of reading. EITC funding is sought for programming for children in grades K-3.
The 4 libraries that comprise the Snyder County Libraries enhance and extend the Summer Reading Program with educational and entertaining programming and special events based upon the theme “Every Hero Has a Story”. Programs are based on topics such as animal heroes, community heroes, heroes in Greek mythology, super heroes and being a hero. This theme stimulates kids’ imaginations, encouraging them to read during the summer, as well as learn new skills and information that will prepare them for school in the fall.
By supporting the library’s Summer Reading Program, tax dollars will provide quality books, speakers, program materials, performers and giveaways for children.
Snyder County Libraries, Inc. provides library services to 39,865 county residents, with a headquarters library in Selinsgrove (Rudy Gelnett Memorial Library), and branches in Middleburg, Beavertown and McClure. The mission of the libraries is to provide free, equal and confidential access to materials, information and services in a wide variety of formats to meet the educational, recreational, cultural and social needs of our community and to support lifelong learning.
Snyder County is a rural community, in need of high quality free library services. 17.1% of the population 25 and older has not graduated from high school. 42% of all school aged children qualify for free or reduced school lunches. 29.3% of all children are born to mothers with less than a high school degree. 27.5% of all 3rd graders scored below the proficient level in the 2012-13 PSSA reading assessments.
A newly remodeled and expanded headquarters library was opened in Selinsgrove in November 2012, at a cost of over $3.6 million. Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds of $1.25 million were awarded for this project, but the rest of the funds was raised through a capital campaign. We believe this campaign was so successful because donors recognized that the library has highly successful programs and services designed to raise the standard of living in Snyder County, and to better prepare people for the future.
Programming ranges from our award-winning Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy programs for babies/toddlers and their parents/caregivers, to home delivery services for our most elderly, home-bound residents. The libraries provide summer reading programs, preschool storytimes, family programs, preteen, teen and adult programming, internet-accessible computers and more.
Library staff members are very involved in the community, and as we develop programs for children and youth, we work with the Selinsgrove Area School District and the Midd-West School District to make sure that are programs prepare preschoolers and then supplement the school experience for school-age children.