Branford, Conn. [February 19, 2013] In its continuing effort to improve and encourage literacy in town, the Branford Rotary Club recently completed a project that has developed the previous children’s area into a presentable and usable space for the Stony Creek community at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library. The reconfigured area entices preschoolers and their parents to take advantage of the positive benefit of books and of utilizing the resources of their local library.
Books for preschoolers had been housed by the library in plastic bins on the floor and sorted by category (dinosaurs, princesses, trucks, etc.). As space and seating were at a minimum, the setup was less than ideal.
Branford Rotarians, including Mary Donaruma (project coordinator and literacy chair), Bill Donaruma, Traci Knapp, Rich Shanahan, Chip Marsh, David Chew, and Tony Terry (club president) assembled new wooden mobile book islands and seating units in a design providing “kid appeal.” Mary Donaruma, a regular user of the Willoughby Wallace facility, has observed more usage of the newly developed space and found the endeavor to be an “enriching experience.”
According to Library Director, Susan Donovan, “We are convinced that the reorganization of our picture book materials will…have a significant impact on their circulation, but will also offer our youngest readers and their parents a greater appreciation of the importance of early literacy and the place Branford libraries play in that quest.”
The funds for the new space furniture were provided by the Branford Rotary Club and, in part, by a matching grant supplied by the Rotary District 7980 Foundation.
A subsequent grant application is being submitted to procure a digital projector and sound speakers to allow for presentations to occur.
The assistance given to the library exemplifies Branford Rotary’s ongoing effort in the field of literacy. Previous activities include the annual Dictionary Project where all 3rd graders are provided with a personal dictionary, and scheduled read-alouds at Branford’s public libraries.
The Rotary Club of Branford is an organization of women and men representing a cross-section of local business and professional leaders, living and/or employed in Branford, who work as volunteers on a variety of local and international projects to improve the quality of life in their home and world communities. For more information visit www.branfordrotary.org or call Tony at 203/481-6424.
PHOTO ATTACHED: L to R—David Chew, Bill Donaruma, Susan Donovan, Mary Donaruma, Tony Terry, Rich Shanahan