Kent District Library announced the launch of the Library Card Challenge, giving 2,000 students at Godwin Heights Public Schools their very own library card.
The first program of its kind in Kent County, the Library Card Challenge will incorporate the library’s resources into every student’s learning experience. Library card-holding students will receive access to Kent District Library’s online research databases, materials from all 18 branches as well as computer and Internet access.
Teachers will be able to participate in the library’s education-based programming to enhance learning in the classroom, such as Leap into Reading, Lit Lunch and Storytime. Additionally, when school isn’t in session, students can still participate in KDL’s many summer offerings, including its popular summer reading program.
“Godwin Heights has been a wonderful partner as we launch the Library Card Challenge program,” said Lance Werner, Kent District Library executive director. “Our mutual goal of advancing literacy and lifelong learning has inspired us to join this national movement with a local collaboration.
“Our goal is to make sure that every public school student, from kindergarteners to high school seniors, in our county has a library card – and with it, the keys to unlock learning.”
The Library Card Challenge is part of a national effort to ensure every child enrolled in school has access to the valuable learning resources available at public libraries. Launched in 2015, the Library Card Challenge includes more than 100 communities nationwide dedicated to improving education outcomes, close achievement gaps and create a framework for an integrated approach to education.
"Providing our school community access to a full range of KDL educational databases and resources enhances our ability to meet 21st century learning goals,” said William Fetterhoff, Godwin Heights Public Schools superintendent. “The Godwin Heights teaching community will have access to high-quality resources to plan and deliver engaging lessons which will enable our students to extend and deepen their knowledge of content through exposure to non-fiction/informational material.
“The end goal culminates in allowing today's student to be a successful, self-directed problem solver, better prepared for career and college readiness."
Encouraging early childhood literacy has long been an objective of Kent District Library. In Kent County, third grade literacy rates remain low with, only 48.6 percent of students reading at the proficient level, according to KConnect, a network of organizations focused on ensuring all children in Kent County have a clear path to economic prosperity.
“Our community takes responsibility for ensuring our students have the skills they need to succeed in life,” said City of Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll. “The Library Card Challenge is an excellent way to provide open access of information to all students in our community.
“We are appreciative of our partnership with KDL and its commitment to the Wyoming community. As a municipality, we are continuously looking for ways to collaborate with our partners to enhance services and opportunities for our residents.”
Kent District Library is committed to increasing library card holders and granting access to valuable learning resources to every child. This first-of-its-kind partnership in Kent County highlights the local network of committed leaders and educators working to make library resources accessible for all.
KDL hopes to roll out the Library Card Challenge to the more than 120,000 students in Kent County over the upcoming years.
“This is a big undertaking, but we are ready for the challenge,” Werner said. “Literacy starts at the library, and we’re proud to be with students and families as children take the first exciting steps into a lifelong love of reading and learning.
“We have a wonderful community in Kent County and want to ensure that each student has the tools he or she needs to excel.”
About Kent District Library
Kent District Library is a public library system operating 18 branch libraries that serve nearly 400,000 residents of 27 different municipalities throughout Kent County. KDL is an IRS-designed 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by millage dollars and private donations. KDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative. For more, visit kdl.org.
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