The combination of funds raised locally and a district grant enabled the Union Rotary Club to donate $2,500 to the Union County Carnegie Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program.
Club President Frank Hart presented the donation to Library Director and fellow Rotarian Ben Loftis during last Tuesday’s Rotary Club meeting at Covenant Baptist Church. In making the donation on behalf of the club, Hart urged the public to support the library and take advantage of the services it provides.
“I just think it’s an excellent opportunity for the Rotary Club to collectively support the Union County Carnegie Library,” Hart said. “We urge individuals to support it and to use it. We have an excellent library in Union.”
Tuesday’s donation was the result of a combination of funds ($1,300) raised by the club itself through programs such as its aluminum drive and its successful application for a District Simplified Grant (DSG) from Rotary District 7750, the district the Union club is part of.
The grant application states that “the purpose of this project is to support literacy and encourage reading for adults in Union County, South Carolina. The program will be administered by the Union County Carnegie Library to provide adults with vibrant summer programming offered simultaneously with the children and teen’s Summer Reading program. This grant will fund special events during the summer designed to generate interest in the library, the purchase of books and audio books for adults, and prizes for adults participating in the summer programming in an effort to help make reading fun.”
It further states that the library “has recently been named the Best Small Library in America and the Rotary Club of Union would like to assist them in maintaining their status by providing them with financial support so they can continue to meet the literacy needs of our county. Traditionally, Summer Reading has been viewed as a series of programs designed for children on vacation for the summer, but typically does not include those children’s parents or other adults who enjoy reading or who could benefit from additional exposure to the library. Many adults have more free time during the summer to participate in a reading program or to attend other programs at the library, and summer programming for adults is a great way to provide some unique and fun opportunities for Union County residents while also encouraging them to read.”
The application points out that the beneficiaries of the program include the children and youth of the community who “will benefit tremendously because this program will encourage adults to read to their children. Schools will benefit because this program will help children better prepare for the classroom, especially if their parents read to them. Parents and caretakers who bring their children to the Summer Reading Program will benefit because they will be encouraged to participate in the adult reading program while their children are participating in other reading activities. … In the long run, the entire community will benefit from this program because there will be a continued increase in literacy awareness and its effect on our community.”
Also benefiting will be the club itself whose members will have new opportunities to get involved with the community.
“Rotarians will benefit by promoting our motto of “Service Above Self” within our community. Rotarians can participate by attending the events, helping library staff set up for the events, introducing the events by telling the audience that this is a Rotary sponsored program. Rotarians will be able to explain how Rotary serves our community.”
The application states the project would cost $2,500 and requested a $1,250 grant which the club would match. Rotarian Robbie Littlejohn said the district awarded the club $1,200 and the club, which had already budgeted $1,250 to match the grant, appropriated an additional $50 so the donation would total $2,500.
Loftis thanked the club for its support of the library and the Adult Summer Reading Program.
“We’re just really thrilled to be able to receive the donation from the Rotary Club of Union,” Loftis said. “It really helps make our Adult Summer Reading program possible. We really appreciate their support of the library and the community.”
The money will be used to purchase books and other materials use during the program.
Lofis said the Adult Summer Reading program is similar to the library’s summer reading programs for children and teenagers. He said like the programs for children and teens, the adult program encourages participants to read on their own. In the case of the adult program, however, participants are also encouraged to read with their children.
“It gives parents with children participating in the summer reading program something to do during the summer,” Loftis said. “They are welcome to read with their children or if they want something to read on their own they are welcome to do that as well.”
Loftis said the Adult Summer Reading programs include:
• Crochet Class (Granny Squares) — June 14 from 4-5:30 p.m.
• Nails With Cassie (Basic Nail Design) — June 21 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
• Napkin Pillow Class — July 17 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
• Crochet Class (Flowers) July 19 from 4-5:30 p.m.
• Grand Finale which will include a drawing for a Nook — July 31. Must be present to win.
With the exception of the Grand Finale, the programs will provide participating adults with craft activities as well as reading opportunities. He said anyone wanting to participate in the Adult Summer Reading Program may do so anytime the library is open through the end of July by picking up the review sheets for the program. Loftis said if they want to be eligible for the prize awarded during the Grand Finale, participating adults will have to write a short review of each of the books they read. The reviews will be used in the drawing of prizes every week drawing of the final prize in the Grand Finale.
“We also have weekly drawings of prizes for those who turn in the review sheets we provide for the books they read,” Loftis said. “The weekly prizes are coupons from local businesses such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and Dairi-O. On July 31 there will be a grand prize drawing for a Barnes & Noble E-Reader Nook.”
For more information about the Adult Summer Reading Program contact the Union County Carnegie Library at (864) 427-7140.