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Reading program expands to include meal

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This summer, thanks to the Marion County Public Library’s Read and Feed program, children are enriching their bodies along with their minds.
The Read and Feed initiative expands the library’s Summer Reading program through collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Summer Food Service Program. The goal of Read and Feed is to provide free meals during the 2012 summer break along with literacy programming to keep school-age children, 18 and younger, nourished and learning while on vacation.
Through a grant funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and administered through the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), 10 Kentucky public libraries received federal funds totaling $104,080 to feed children as part of the Summer Reading program.
Marion County Public Library used its $11,335 grant to hire three temporary, part-time staff members to help feed children and provide extended literacy programming around mealtime for the 11-week initiative. Two of the new employees are teens who assist with teen and tween programming, and the third new employee helps with toddler programs. Grant funds have also been used for additional activities such as a black light glow in the dark party, a tombstone rubbing project, and four bilingual reading/craft projects (the first bilingual summer reading programs at the library.) A daily average of 45 children attend the five-day-a-week program.
“Although our library has been feeding children over the summer for five years, this grant allows us to provide enriching, educational opportunities to go along with the meals that we haven’t had the funds to provide before,” said Marion County Public Library Director Amy Morgeson. “We are thrilled that the children have a safe place to go to enjoy a meal and fun activities for the summer.”
KDLA provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained and made accessible. For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call (502) 564-8300 ext. 315.