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Youth Programs

Last day of school party features book giveaway launch

Last day of school party features book giveaway launch

A celebration of summer vacation event at the Indian Orchard Library branch will serve as the kickoff for the city’s second annual participation in the National Book Foundation’s Book Rich Environments program, meaning city children will once again receive thousands of books to line their libraries.

The celebration will run on Thursday June 21 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the library branch at 44 Oak St. in the Indian Orchard section of the city.

Zhyanna Greene holds up one of the books she received last year as part of the program.

The fun will include a scavenger hunt, craft activities, a raffle, refreshments, and the start of the book giveaway. This year, city children will receive 4,670 books under the program that unites the City Library, the Springfield Housing Authority, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department, the U.S. Department of Education, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the National Book Foundation and the Urban Libraries Council.

Book distribution will be ongoing and done jointly by the City Library and the Springfield Housing Authority.

SHA Director of Resident Services Pamela Wells said the program was a success story last year, with children at the organization’s family developments were beneficiaries at many of the free books, whether at special literacy-based events or in after-school or summer learning programs.

“This gives parents the opportunity to promote reading with their children by having a book rich environment within their homes,” Wells said.  “We know that summer time can be difficult in terms of reading loss – we want to promote the importance within our families of promoting reading all year long.”

SHA’s Talk/Read/Succeed! Outreach Coordinator Zenaida Burgos reads with Zhyanna Greene and her mother Zuleyka Sierra at Sullivan Apartments.

Diane Nostin Houle is manager of the city’s Indian Orchard and Brightwood library branches. She agreed the book giveaway helps children retain and rise in literacy levels and attain reading enjoyment.

“This collaboration between the Springfield Housing Authority and the Springfield City Library highlights the services that the library provides to all our cardholders, promotes the library’s Summer Event, and encourages reading and building of literacy skills,” said Nostin Houle. “We are proud of what we have to offer to the community, and would like to promote summer reading and other programs we offer.”

Springfield was among 37 cities across the United States for the book distribution to children living in HUD-assisted housing. In Massachusetts, those cities are Cambridge, New Bedford and, of course, Springfield. Books include those for young readers from pre-school through middle school.

Indian Orchard City Library Branch Manager Diane Nostin Houle.

The program helps to strengthen home libraries, facilitate book-distribution events, and provide the information and tools to establish long-term connections between families, libraries and other literary resources.

1634 days ago / Youth Programs
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