Boys & Girls Clubs and Laurel Library host day of food, fun and education

Image Courtesy Of Tony E. Windsor Written by Tony E. Windsor  

Boys & Girls Clubs and Laurel Library host day of food, fun and education

By Tony E. Windsor

Although operating under the threat of rain, the Laurel Public Library held a very successful community “Block Party” on Saturday. The annual event, now in its third year is a way for the library to engage with the community and provide information about valuable direct-service resources that are available in the area.

Though the rain held off, the heat did not. But, that was no deterrent to the large number of people who turned out for the event. This year the Block Party grew even bigger the previous years and incorporated the area surrounding the library, including East 4th Street in front of the Library, the library’s parking lot, Market Square Park and East Market Street between Central and Delaware avenues.

Gail Bruce, Youth Services Librarian, said in addition to providing outreach for over 20 community service agencies, the Block Party also enabled the library to promote its partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. One of the Laurel Library and Boys & Girls Club partnership is the year around nutrition programs featuring the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food (CACFP) program.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, a sponsor of the food programs, provides the library with after-school suppers and summer time lunches to benefit the young people who visit the library. Funding for the meals comes from the United States Department of Agriculture and the nutrition programs are coordinated through the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Nutrition.

To allow the Block Party attendees an opportunity to experience the food program for themselves, food for the event was provided by Catering Connections, a division of Connections Community Service Programs, Inc. Catering Connections is the vendor that contracts with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware to prepare and deliver the daily meals to sites statewide, including the Laurel Library, as part of the two USDA food programs.

Those attending the Block Party were treated to free hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and corn on the cob as part of the nutrition program. Also on hand to promote the food program was “Power Panther,” the official USDA nutrition mascot.

The Laurel Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware use the food program as a dynamic in a second partnership effort to promote summer literacy education. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware, a sponsor of the food programs provides the library with after-school suppers and summer time lunches to benefit the young people who visit the library. The (Reading is Fundamental) RIF literacy program is a national program with a mission to lessen learning loss during the summer months by enhancing oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. In the past four years B&G Clubs of Delaware has provided the program to 23,393 youth participants statewide who have received 15,000 age-appropriate book offerings.

The participants in the B&G Clubs of Delaware RIF program have demonstrated an 84 percent improvement in oral ready fluency and an 85 percent improvement in reading comprehension. The Laurel Library is combining the B&G Clubs’ summer meals program with RIF to offer the “Read and Feed.” literacy education program at the library.

The Read and Feed program is open to students entering kindergarten through third grade. Students will meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after lunch. Youth will explore new books & topics every week through fun games and activities. Registration is suggested, but not required. Lunch is served at noon and the program starts at 12:30 p.m.

During the Block Party event State Senator Bryant L. Richardson and State Representative Tim Dukes presented Senate and House Tributes to recognize the “Read and Feed” program and the community partnership between the library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. The two legislators also presented a Proclamation from Governor John Carney and Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, proclaiming the week of June 11 through 15 as “Read and Feed Nutrition and Literacy Week” in Delaware.

Bruce said Saturday’s Block Party event also provided a community service opportunity for the library’s “Teen Ambassador” program. She said with the help of the Dollar General Literacy Fund and the Young Adult Library Services Association the library is able to offer teen internships to a group of teens to support their participation in the library’s summer program.

“Our Teen Ambassadors volunteered for this event by helping to set up and break down and to run our registration areas as well as several activities. They are also an integral part of our Read & Feed Program, helping to run our programs, and serve meals and snacks,” Bruce said.

 

 

Photos:

House Tribute

State Representative Tim Dukes (far left) presents a Delaware State House of Representatives “Tribute” to recognize the opportunities presented through the Laurel Public Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware’s “Read and Feed” summer literacy program. The Laurel Library-based program includes the B&G Clubs of Delaware’s RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) literacy program and Summer Food Service Program. Pictured here with Dukes are (left to right): Wenona Phillips, Assistant Laurel Library Director, Gail Bruce, Youth Librarian and Suchi Hiraesave, Executive Director, Grants Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. Photo by Aaron Windsor

 

Senate Tribute

State Senator Bryant L. Richardson (far left) presents a Delaware “Senate Tribute” to recognize the opportunities presented through the Laurel Public Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware’s “Read and Feed” summer literacy program. The Laurel Library-based program includes the B&G Clubs of Delaware’s RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) literacy program and Summer Food Service Program. Pictured here with Richardson are (left to right): Wenona Phillips, Assistant Laurel Library Director, Gail Bruce, Youth Librarian and Suchi Hiraesave, Executive Director, Grants Development for Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware. Photo by Aaron Windsor

 

Governor’s Proclamation

State Sen. Bryant L. Richardson and Rep. Tim Dukes presented a State Proclamation on Behalf of Gov. John Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long during the recent Laurel Library “Block Party,” held on Saturday, June 9. The Proclamation recognizes the Laurel Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware community partnership and proclaims the week of June 11 through 15 as “Read and Feed Nutrition and Literacy Week” in Delaware. Pictured are (right to left): State Rep. Tim Dukes, Library Assistant Director, Wenona Phillips, Youth Librarian, Gail Bruce, Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware Executive Director, Grants Development, Suchi Hiraesave and State Sen. Bryant L. Richardson. Photo by Aaron Windsor

 

Food for the Block Party

The crowd who attended the Saturday, June 9, Laurel Library “Block Party” were treated to free food, including hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and corn on the cob. The food was prepared by Catering Connections, a division of Connections Community Service Programs, Inc. Catering Connections is the vendor that contracts with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware to prepare and deliver the daily meals to sites statewide, including the Laurel Library, as part of the two USDA food programs. Photo by Aaron Windsor

 

Power Panther

The Laurel Public Library hosted its third annual “Block Party” on Saturday, June 9. Food, entertainment and numerous community service agencies were on hand to help the library promote its services to the Greater Laurel community. Also on hand for the event was the USDA nutrition mascot, Power Panther.” The Panther represented the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program, which provide year around meals to Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware sponsored sites, including the library. Food prepared as part of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware nutrition program was served for free during the Block Party. Photo by Aaron Windsor