Message to the community from Luren E. Dickinson:
With the 2012-13 school year now in progress, it is important to note that Shaker Library works with the Shaker Schools and other community agencies to provide a continuum of activities for all ages to help support and enhance the educational experience.
Because we believe in the importance of early literacy, we have a full-time early literacy specialist on staff who selects and delivers library material to day care centers and preschools in Shaker Heights. She regularly refreshes these collections when she visits the preschools to tell stories to the children.
We have programs for babies and their parents and a regular slate of programs that we offer year round for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-age children.
In recent months, we have worked with Beech Brook, a leading behavioral health agency to offer STEPS (Security, Touch, Eyes, Play, Sound), an early brain development program for families, caregivers and children to age five. We cooperate closely with Family Connections to offer the Play and Learn Station, a free, drop-in, literacy-based program for babies and preschoolers at the Main Library. We partner with the Shaker Prevention Coalition to promote healthy lifestyles, and as part of MyCom, we work with the South Shaker Neighborhood Council to offer youth fun, out-of-school-time activities.
It is a well-documented fact that students who read throughout the summer are more likely to retain the skills they have learned during the school year. That is why Summer Reading Programs are so important. Over 1,700 children and teens registered for "Dream Big—Read!" this summer and 350 preschool children recorded more than 1,100 visits. School-age children and teens tracked their time and reported more than 40,000 hours of reading time! In addition, teens wrote over 450 book reviews.
While we firmly believe in the importance of providing our young readers with personal affirmation, we purchased an automated Summer Reading registration and reporting system for those who prefer to connect with us virtually. Thanks to the Friends of the Shaker Library for funding its purchase. (34% self-registered for the Preschool program; 37% self-registered for the School-age program; 81% self-registered for the Teen program and 70% self-registered for the Adult program.) Overall, 41% of summer reading participants self-registered using Evanced. The “Lights Out Summer Reading Wrap-Up" events at Main Library and Bertram Woods brought the program to a successful and fun conclusion.
While the schools gear up for another year, the Library, too, is preparing to open its Homework Center in October at Main Library where experienced tutors will offer free homework help to children in grades 2 through 6. Shaker School’s Successmaker software, which offers self-paced and individualized remedial instruction, is also available at the Library.
One of the most popular places at the Main Library for those in middle school and high school continues to be the Teen Center. Last school year, more than 1,000 teens registered to: socialize with their friends after school; relax and enjoy snacks from the second floor vending area; read and study; participate in fun art, music, and even culinary activities; or access the Internet on the library’s computers or their wireless devices.
Luren E. Dickinson, Director