Reading in the town library means music in the school

Aug 1, 2018

Children particpating in the Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library summer reading program have been participating in the reading program since the end of the school year, with the added benefit of helping the local elementary school with funding for its school music program.

"The program is called 'Libraries Rock.' It's our annual summer learning program. It started June 25 and wraps up on Aug. 10," Plumb Library Children's librarian Lisa Fuller said.

"I go into RMS and talk to all the parents and kids about it. The goal is to have as many kids sign up as possible.," she said. "We have an online software system called Wandoo. It's a state provided online reading software. We've had it for three years."

Fuller said kids don't seem to have a problem navigating the program.

"They go in, sign up, they create their own user name and password. They have their own special page with  an avitar. Fuller said. "Every time  they read they earn credits, which they can use to buy accessories for their avitar."

But this year, the library added something new to the summer reading program.

"We added a service goal this year," the children's librarian said. "So, as well as keeping brains busy and having fun free activities locally, the goal was to help RMS. The (school) music department is benefitting this year from all the accomplishments we do.

"The kids are given challenges of all kinds: reading, math, engineering, science, acts of kindness. They track those with stickers or however they want to at home. They come in (the library) and share their accomplishments us using color tiles on a mosaic. When the mosaic is filled the Friends of Plumb Library will donate funds to RMS music."

Children appear to be enjoying the program.

Grace Clark, 8, a third grader at Rochester Memorial School, was at the library recently adding tiles to the big mosaic poster. She said the program is making her read more books than she normally would.

"There are challenges and you read as many books as you can," the third grader said. "I've read a few books, but they're all chapter books."

For Marley Perry, 8, and her sister, Meadow, 6, the program is a fun learning experience.

"It helps you learn about the world. It helps you learn about different places. We can ask Miss Lisa about books that make you want to learn," said Marley, as she placed new tiles on the mosaic poster board.

"It's helping me learn how to read," Meadow, 6, said. "I've read like two books."

The girls were aware of the benefits of their reading.

"If we fill all this up, we get new instruments for our school," Marley said.

Fuller said the reading program is geared for children ages two years and through adults, but that it seems to haave the most impact on young readers. She said the program is part of an ongoing relationship with Rochester Memorial School.

"I've been working with the school for years," Fuller said. "We love working with the school. We are family. That's what I say. We are Plumb Memorial and they are Rochester Memorial so we're related," Fuller laughs. "We're all in the same family."

"We have a great relationship with the school," Fuller said. "I actually started going to the school every Wednesday during the school year to work in the library with the school librarian. It's a great connection that we have. It helps the school as well  because we're providing the school summer reading program. They don't separate us and create their own. We're working as team so this is our joint reading program for RMS. And, obviously, we work with junior high kids and high school kids. But the core group who signs up is elementary age."

Fuller said they hold an ice cream social for the kids involved, and in the fall they call an all-school meeting and pass out special awards. RMS gives those kids a free recess that day. So this has been a relationship that quite fun and, I think, quite beneficial to us."