During ALA Midwinter in Seattle, the Library Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee met to review grant applications for the Light the Way Grant. The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its fifth year. Originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented with the kind generosity of Candlewick Press.
This year the committee selected Burke County Public Library as the recipient of the grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Outreach to the Hearing Impaired project. The Burke County Public Library will partner with the Burke County School System and the North Carolina School for the Deaf to provide children who are deaf or hard of hearing with an opportunity to come to the library for specially designed storytime programs. There are currently no programs available for these children in the community and the project will offer caregivers information on academic achievement, social development, read-aloud strategies, and literature selection.
“The review process for the Light the Way Grant is especially difficult with many applications touching our hearts. The Burke County Public Library’s Outreach to the Hearing Impaired project bubbled up to the top for its community impact, community partnerships, and community engagement,” said Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee Chair Paula Holmes.
Betty Riley, Assistant Director of Burke County Public Library, is “very excited to have an opportunity to partner with the North Carolina School for the Deaf and the Burke County School System to serve our deaf and hard of hearing population in providing parent literacy workshops and early childhood storytimes. We see this as a potential for the creation of many more programming and educational service possibilities for this community.”
Members of the 2013 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee include: Paula Holmes, chair, Upper St. Clair Library Board, Penn.; Betsy Dalton, San Antonio (Texas) Public Library; Africa Hands, Louisville, Ky.; Deborah Sandler, King County Library System, Wash.; Sara Hathaway, Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library; Rebecca Hickman, Alvin Sherman Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Amy Johnson, University of Las Vegas-Nevada; Deborah Sandler, King County Library System, Woodmont Branch, Des Moines, Wash.
The committee looks forward to hearing how the grant helps the library implement new services children and their parents in the deaf and hard of hearing community of Burke County. Thank you to Candlewick Press for continued support of this grant.
Africa Hands is a member of the Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee and a librarian in Louisville, KY.