Library valuable tool in educating kids

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Children in Selma and Dallas County read 4,010 books over this year’s summer reading program.

That alone deserves a headline.

Selma Public Library Director Becky Nichols said she gave each participant a goal of 20 books over the eight-week long program. Many children met that goal; some greatly surpassed it. One child read 300 books.

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We can’t think of anything greater for our libraries to accomplish over the summer than getting children interested in reading. Habits are learned young, and this is one that we hope could be instilled in every child across the nation.

We believe the library achieved a monumental goal with Dallas County youth this summer &045;&045; making children realize reading is fun. Programs ranging from magic shows to sing-a-longs all served the same purpose &045;&045; teaching our children about reading.

A representative from the Birmingham-based McWane Center brought animals to the library one day. Prairie dogs and humongous snakes and a host of other creatures were shown to the awes and cries of children.

And not a few books on animals were checked out on that day.

When Skip, The Magic guy, showed up with his bag of tricks he had to ask a librarian if there were still any books on magic available to be checked out after completing his first show. Luckily there were.

And how many books on singing and guitars were checked out after Jim Aycock performed the reading program’s finale last Thursday?

The library’s summer reading program has turned out to be more than just a success; it’s become an institution. Years from now children who went to the program will bring their own children to watch magic shows, listen to singers and check out books.

Most importantly check out books.

Our children’s education is one of the most valuable things we can develop. The Selma Public Library contributes to that education, not just during the summer, but every day.

And we couldn’t be more thankful.