Watonwan County Library is pleased to announce that the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected Watonwan County/St. James Library as one of the winners of its Summer Reading Program Grants, which are funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.
Twenty libraries are receiving $1,000 to help fund summer reading programs for teens.
“YALSA is pleased to work with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support summer reading programs for teens,” said Sarah Flowers, YALSA President. “Our members have lots of wonderful, creative ideas, and it is a pleasure to be able to help them implement them.”
The grant has become a sort of prized possession, so to speak, for Stacy Lienemann, Watonwan County Library Assistant Director, who coordinates teen programming.
“This grant has allowed us to provide major incentive prizes for our summer reading challenge as well as added programming this summer for teens. We’ve already noticed drastically increased reading, which is exactly what the summer reading program is built to achieve. Reading often declines during the teenage years so we are using this program to re-engage teenagers,” said Lienemann. “Reading allows teens to examine different points of view, consider different ways to solve problems, and prompts them to consider lifestyle choices they’ve never encountered before—from career choices to how to handle touchy friendship issues. This is the golden age of young adult publishing, with popular series like Hunger Games and Twilight winning fans, as well as groundbreaking writing like Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green wowing readers. In fact, young adult novels are not just for kids—we see more and more adults requesting the books.”
Adelaida and Javier Esqueda of St. James are casual readers who are taking the challenge seriously.
They now spend several hours a day reading in the library in hopes of winning one of the prizes.
Javier has his hopes set on the $50 Game Stop gift card while Adelaida is hoping for the Kindle Fire.
That being said, Miss Esqueda has some tough competition as Abby Bright, also of St. James, has made a passionate vow.
“I will do anything it takes to win that Kindle Fire,” said Bright. “I don’t care if I have to read 100 books. I’m going to do it.”