In January, after careful deliberation, the Library Services for Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) Committee awarded Jennifer Smith and the Suffolk Public Library with the Light The Way Grant, sponsored by Candlewick Press.
Smith’s proposed idea, Mess Hall on the Loose, included a weekly program in which children would take part in cultural outings or field trips in their greater community, opening them to new experiences that would enrich their lives.
Among some of their activities, the children have been able to learn how to play ukuleles, travel to the Virginia Air & Space Museum in Hampton, VA, visit a movie theater to see The Lion King – as the closest theater is half an hour away, and visit the Isle of Wight Land Farm, a working farm, to learn about agricultural processes.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the following images are a full-length novel that captures the spirit of the project, the joy of learning, and the happiness of every child involved in this fabulous outreach initiative.
Suffolk’s Prime Arts, Retail, and Culinary Initiative
Virginia Air & Space Museum
Isle of White Land Farm
The committee is delighted that the children of Suffolk have benefited so greatly from the grant, and we applaud Jennifer and her community partnerships for making this extraordinary program a reality.
We can’t wait to see what you do next, Jennifer!
Joe Prince is the Curriculum and Outreach Educator at Bowling Green State University. He was a school librarian in Pittsburgh for eight years before entering academia. He is the co-chair of ALSC’s Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers, and lives with his husband and three imaginary cats (Ouiser, Dr. Bombay, and Klaws Nomi) in Bowling Green, Ohio.