Rotary Grant Takes Reading Program to Robeson School

Garden Hills students with books in 2011

Pictured: Garden Hills Elementary School students enthusiastically show off the books they received in 2011.

In the fall of 2013, a grant of $14,800 from Rotary Club of Champaign is making it possible for the library to expand a special reading program to Robeson Elementary School. The year-long program for grades 3 and 4 takes our librarians’ enthusiasm for reading into the schools to help students become motivated readers and encourage kids to use our library.

Through the program:

  • School classrooms and media centers receive appealing new books that kids love to read—200 for each classroom, and more than 350 for the media center
  • Classrooms receive shelving to make the new books attractive and easy to find
  • Our librarians visit classrooms monthly for engaging book talks that pique kids’ interest
  • Students get an exciting tour of the Champaign Public Library
  • Children choose two popular books that are theirs to keep

Launched in 2009, the program has served more than 350 children at Garden Hills School with tremendous success.

One teacher shared this typical feedback: “The kids were so excited to get the new books! Many of them had trouble staying in their seats and wanted to read the books right away.” Another said his students were “really growing into an inquisitive group of kids who love reading.”

To further enrich the experience, the library also sponsors a visit to the school by a popular children’s author. In the spring of 2014, Robeson students will meet Lisa Graff whose newest book, A Tangle of Knots, is a National Book Award finalist. The author will also present a free public program at our library.