Lewisburg library receives grant for ‘One Book, Every Freshman’ project

Lynne Gale, a trustee of The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts Inc., presented a check on May 11 for $2,500 to Roberta Greene, director of The Public Library for Union County in Lewisburg. The money will fund the library’s portion of “One Book, Every Freshman,” a joint project of the library and the Lewisburg Area High School.

The foundation, which was created by Gale, of Lewisburg, and her sister Lorrin Watson, of Jacksonville, Fla., provides financial assistance to organizations that promote the arts, particularly for children.

During the summer of 2011, every incoming LAHS freshman was asked to read Out of the Dust, a work of historical fiction written in free verse.  The book by Karen Hesse won a Newbery Medal in 1998.

In June, July, and August, The Public Library for Union County offered a series of intergenerational programs about the U.S. Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. Students were asked to attend at least one of the programs and to complete an Accelerated Reader “Mind Jogger” test on the book at the public library before the start of the 2011-2012 school year. Teachers at LAHS will continue to focus on Out of the Dust. Information about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era will be included in English, social studies, science, and even math classes.

The “One Book, Every Freshman” project began with a conversation in 2010 between LAHS principal David Himes and the school’s librarian, Laurie Miller, about how to promote summer reading to high school students. The partnership with The Public Library for Union County was a natural one — each year the library offers summer reading programs for all ages.

According to Linda Homa, the public library’s reference librarian, the library’s goals were “to encourage young adults to read over the summer, to strengthen the relationship with the school district, to support the high school’s curriculum, and to introduce the community to a Newbery Award-winning author.” The “One Book, Every Freshman” project was promoted as part of the public library’s 2011 young adult summer reading program “You Are Here.”

For more information about the library’s programs call 523-1172 or visit the library at 255 Reitz Blvd. in Lewisburg. The library is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.