THE ROTARY CLUB OF NORFOLK'S SPECIAL EVENT RAISES MONEY FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING CENTERS AT NORFOLK PUBLIC LIBRARY
Norfolk, VA (May 24, 2006) - Think game tables, a large screen television playing an exciting NCAA basketball tournament game, and prizes raffled off to a few lucky people. This was the scene at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club during an event sponsored by the Rotary Club of Norfolk to benefit the Norfolk Public Library. On May 2, the Club presented Terri Raymond, Norfolk Public Library's Youth Services Coordinator, with a check for $8,500.
The proceeds from the event will be used to purchase a wide array of educational toys and other equipment for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, creating three new Early Childhood Learning Centers at the Library. The new centers will be located at Jordan Newby, Blyden, and Barron F. Black Homework Center. March Madness Casino Night was held on Friday, March 24 by the Rotary Club's strategic planning committee led by Ben Mason and Nancy Chandler.
The Rotary Club's contribution supports one of Norfolk Public Library's key goals, early childhood literacy. Two years ago, the library took a bold step by defining its primary audience as families rather than children only. NPL became the first Virginia Library to join a national network of libraries called Family Place Libraries that share this goal. Two key components of Family Place are redefined youth spaces and the parent-child workshops. The donation from the Rotary Club demonstrates the club's commitment to support the library's efforts.
The Family Place Project allows NPL to become an agent for change in the community. With one in five of our children entering school not ready to read and workplace demands giving adults less time to spend with their children, Family Place is an excellent way for the library to meet resident needs. The redefined youth spaces now offer a free learning environment where families can go and have quality fun together.
The structure of the Kidzones is set up for family learning. These centers are learning landscapes where informal and discovery learning take place. These centers help children develop essential foundational skills which contribute to cognitive, social and emotional development. In addition, the six early literacy skills that each child needs for entry into kindergarten were carefully considered in the development of these centers. Through exploration and interactivity, kids develop----phonological awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, vocabulary, print awareness and print motivation. These skills give children the keystones for reading and success in school.
Chartered over 90 years ago, the Rotary Club of Norfolk is a 501 C (3) organization committed to providing support to worthy causes. The club contributes thousands of dollars annually to international and regional non-profit humanitarian, educational, and cultural programs. It was enrolled as the 114th member of what subsequently became Rotary International which now encompasses 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide.
Currently there are three centers located in Horace C. Downing, Larchmont, and Kirn. We invite you to visit; so, you can see the impact these centers have on families. With the generous support of the Rotarians, we plan to create three more centers where play, reading and learning connect. For more information on innovative early childhood literacy programs offered by Norfolk Public Library, visit www.npl.lib.va.us or call 757-664-7323 ext. 43748.