A sensational Selma success story

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dear editor,

September is Library Card Sign Up month all over our great nation. Everywhere libraries are “pushing their products’ and hoping to attract new members. Here at your local Selma Dallas County Public Library, we have had the pure joy of welcoming 604 city and county first grade students to the library to receive their very own library card.

In a program called “Welcome to Your Library!” both public school systems arrange meticulous bussing schedules that drop off 40-60 first graders every hour. This six day blitz has as its goal the enrollment of all these first graders. In addition to the prized library card, each child gets bonus gifts. This year’s packet was full of good health stickers from our friends at Vaughan Community Health Services, a brand new toothbrush from our new friends at Sarrell Dental and Eye Center as well as some neat little surprises.

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Inside each prepackaged envelope bearing the child’s name was their brand, new, big library card .The thrill of the day was the beading of their library card necklace from which dangled their small key card. As the busses pulled in and pulled out, new library card holders boarded for the ride home wearing these beautiful necklaces and promising to come back soon!

This program now in its tenth year is unique in our state. The huge effort to bring over 600 new card holders into the library in a short six day event requires a lot of help.

The library staff of the Children’s Department has been busy for weeks getting ready by registering and making new cards, matching names and addresses and packing envelopes.

Then volunteers came in to help on the day of the program. They worked to tie necklaces and to make each child feel at home. Special thanks this year to Ginny McCollum, Naomi Oslund, Rebecca Boutwell, Ruth Talton and Julian Helms for their smiles and patience!

And the bussing could never work without Gwen Carrington, Dallas County Schools and “Mrs. Coleman”, amazing first grade teacher at Meadowview with the Selma City Schools

And to the bus drivers, teachers, leaders, reading coaches and superintendents, Dr. Jefferson of the Selma City Schools and Dr. McKenzie of the Dallas County Schools, we say “Thank You” for your help.

Truly this month has been another “Sensational Selma Success Story”! Yet one more reason for all us to be proud to call this community “Home!”

Becky Nichols