WA Secretary of State Blogs

Stimulating Summers

From the desk of Carolyn Petersen

Four boys in a tornado tunnel. Big smiles

Kids visiting the Mobius Science Center

The city libraries of Reardan, Harrington and the Ritzville District Library  have banded together  to tackle a common problem: summer enrichment activities for children which would slow the summer learning slide. Their solution: a day camp for grade school children with the libraries providing essential mid-day programming.

Seeing a need and realizing that libraries could play a role in filling that need, Carolyn, the overall project manager for Stimulating Summers, corralled disparate funding sources: an Inland Northwest Foundation grant, LSTA funding, “Feed your brain” grant  from School’s Out Washington and USDA summer nutrition funds.

Next she coaxed the key players to support the effort

  • Local librarians who would now need to provide DAILY library programming for 90 minutes for SIX weeks  instead of  one hour of programming once a week for six weeks
  • School district personnel (thank you Justin Bradford superintendent of the Harrington School district for donating the use of the Harrington school pool and Kelli Tanke who recruited EWU student teachers to serve as key Feed your Brain reading counselors)
  • 4-H camp expert (Thank you Bridget Rohner, Lincoln County 4-H for designing the day camp, training the camp counselors and allowing Judy Boutain your administrative assistant to provide essential administrative support such as lining up buses and drivers to get the kids to the field trip.
  • Margy Hall (Economic Development Counselor for Lincoln) to serve as our on the ground PR expert (Please send this required USDA announcement to the local papers to fulfill the requirement to get the summer meal funds approved)

It was a lot of organization but efforts are starting to pay off.  We are half way through the summer and pictures are starting to appear on Facebook.  It looks like a good time is being had by all!   One summer down, two to go.

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