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Library welcomes first graders from throughout the county

Selma-Dallas County Public Library director Becky Nichols teaches hand motions to the Clark Elementary School first graders. The first graders attended the ‘Welcome To Your Library’ campaign where they all received their own library card.  -- Alaina Denean

Selma-Dallas County Public Library director Becky Nichols teaches hand motions to the Clark Elementary School first graders. The first graders attended the ‘Welcome To Your Library’ campaign where they all received their own library card. — Alaina Denean

By Alaina Denean

The Selma Times-Journal

 

Each year, the Selma-Dallas County Public Library provides an enormous opportunity for first graders in the area. Young scholars, from each elementary school in Dallas County, are bussed to the library to receive their very own library card to celebrate National Library Card Sign Up Month.

“For many, this is a spectacular part of their childhood, and in Selma, it’s one of the most important places for children to come and grow,” Selma-Dallas County Public Library Becky Nichols said.

The campaign, “Welcome To Your Library,” provides students an opportunity to come and explore what the library has to offer, along with getting their own library cards.

“It’s essential that they now get the opportunity to have a place where reading is everything,” Clark Elementary School principal Shayla McCray said. “The library cards give the kids a foundation in regards to reading. Education starts with reading and vocabulary, and enhancement of true knowledge is all embodied in reading. When they can’t go various places, reading takes them there.”

Upon arriving at the library, Nichols explained to the children the process of checking out a library book, and the importance of reading.

“We’re all about literacy, and all about reading,” Nichols said. “You can’t sit back anymore … you’ve got to go out and embrace the population, make them feel welcome, and in some cases physically bringing them here.”

Clark Elementary first graders even enjoyed story time Monday, when McCray read “The Enormous Potato” to her students.

During the reading, students asked questions and made hand motions to express what was happening in the book. McCray said it’s important for her to be able to sit down and read and interact with the children at her school.

After reading the book, children were able to make necklaces with their library card attached. This is probably the most exciting part of the trip, Nichols said.

“We feel like if we put a library card in every family the chances of that family coming back as a group are even better,” Nichols said.

The mission of the library is to encourage reading, and by bringing the first graders in and showing them all of the possibilities, there is a greater hope that they will continue to come back, and even bring more people back with them.

“It’s what libraries are about,” Nichols said. “If they’re doing their job, they’re promoting reading constantly.”