Once upon a time, the Bucyrus Campus needed a library.
Sr. Edna knew the alarming statistics – that only 9 percent of African-American children in Milwaukee read at their grade level, compared to 40 percent of their white peers. She knew, too, that indicated. that today’s jobs require beyond-basic literacy skills. How could St. Ann Center help change the narrative?
Childcare teachers make reading to even the youngest children a priority, because research shows how crucial it is in preparing them to read. But many young families are unable to visit their public library. A convenient mini-library, right in the day care center the children attend, seemed promising in facilitating an early love of reading.
An empty room off the atrium was transformed, with assistance from the Anon Charitable Trust, with library-style shelving, cheery furnishings and some culturally appropriate intergenerational titles, books that adults and children could read together. Volunteer Jane Glaser used her library science background to curate donated books, keeping those most likely to appeal to children and adults in the neighborhood. In the works, as funding allows: new accessible computer workstations that allow use by more of St. Ann Center’s adult clients.
Fittingly, the library opened during National School Library month, with a grand opening to be scheduled later. St. Ann Center hopes this is where the plot thickens, eventually becoming the story of how more children start a lifelong love of reading and success.