Welcome to your Library initiative begins

Published 2:01 pm Tuesday, November 14, 2023

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In a groundbreaking initiative, Becky Nichols, Director of the Dallas County Public Library, has joined forces with the local public school system and the Rotary Club, to ensure that every first grader in Dallas County receives their very own library card. The ambitious project aims to foster a love for reading and expand access to diverse literary resources for young minds.

Krista Kennedy, the Librarian at Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School, lauded the collaborative effort. 

“It’s a great partnership. We can team up with the city and provide our students with the opportunity to explore books that may not be available in our school library.”

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Spearheading the coordination for every school in the district is Krystal Dozier, the lead librarian for the Selma City School District, who played a pivotal role in organizing and implementing this initiative.

The program kicks off with each first-grade class receiving a warm welcome to the library, where they are treated to story time. Ms. Becky (Nichols)  encourages the young readers to enthusiastically request, “Bring me to the library.” Following story time, the students engage in hands-on activities, crafting personalized library card necklaces.

An exciting contest adds extra motivation for the first graders. To the first class in which every student checks out a library book, Ms. Becky promises a class party, complete with pizza and popsicles generously funded by the Rotary Club.

Mekesia Williams, a first-grade teacher at Sophia P. Kingston, underscores the educational benefits of this program. 

“We read every day,” Williams said. “It’s so important. [At the library] they’ll learn new words and it will build their vocabulary. Plus, the library does so many fun activities and they need that. It gets them exposed to new things. This is awesome. I’m really going to encourage their parents to bring them to the library, to check out books, and build that reading fluency.”

Ms. Becky’s overarching goal for this program is to ignite a genuine interest among the children in visiting the library and discovering the joy of reading. 

“My hope is that ‘Take me to the library’ works and they really will do that.” Ms. Becky said.