The local library is a magical space though sometimes patrons need encouragement to embrace it. Youth One Stop, as an incubator of future role models, wanted to help make libraries and reading cool again. Starting in September, we spent a Saturday in the childrens’ section of the Adriance Memorial Library on Market St in the City of Poughkeepsie. YOS volunteers made themselves available to young patrons, inviting them to be read to, or to read a book out loud to us!
In the event that neither invitation was accepted, we took advantage of our surroundings and picked a book off the shelf to enjoy. These Saturdays were time volunteered by participants of Youth One Stop, but the reward overshadowed the sacrifice: connecting with members of the community over a good story, and rekindling that love of reading!
This activity spanned from September through November, but the experience is long lasting. A big “thank you!” goes out to the staff of the Adriance Memorial Library’s Children section for accommodating us and providing the opportunity to become positive reading role models for the younger generation. Studies have shown that establishing a solid reading foundation expands vocabulary and increases chances of success at school. A recent report from Scholastic indicates that kids are more likely to enjoy reading, and read frequently if adults read out loud to them throughout elementary school. According to Jim Trelease, author of the Read-Aloud Handbook, reading aloud helps expand attention spans. It’s also a helpful method to address sensitive situations with kids, and expand their capacity for empathy and awareness.
Libraries are integral to a community, and YOS is honored to have been able to help!