• 61°

Library children’s programs offer variety of activities

It’s been said that reading is the light into education, and Covington County’s three public libraries work diligently to provide reading opportunities for the county’s youth.

For the most part, the majority of activities that draws the children and parents to the library would not be possible without the funding each receives from the Covington County United Fund.

The benefits of the children’s programs are something Andalusia’s Angie Garner knows well. She’s been taking her children to the library for the past six years.

Her older children are in school now, but now she brings 3-year-old Landon Caldwell and 4-year-old Trevin Garner religiously to the Andalusia Public Library’s preschool storytime on Fridays.

“It’s good to have the preschool kids interact, hear stories, puppet shows and do crafts,” she said. “Caryl (Lee Jackson, children’s librarian) does an amazing job with the kids. My children look forward to it every week.”

Nicholas Seymore, who just started bringing her 3-year-old, Maggie Seymore to story time, had high praises for the program.

“They get to interact with other kids, brush up on their listening skills as they get to listen to stories in a large group setting,” she said. “They are exposed to different forms of the arts and learn fine motor skills.”

APL Director Karin Taylor said the library receives approximately $3,000 each year from CCUF which they use for library operations, specifically the children’s programs as well as upgrading technology.

“A lot of people don’t know that we have for public use computers,” she said. “They can come in and use the computers for job outlooks. Since we don’t have an unemployment service here anymore, a lot of employers such as Wal-Mart and Winn-Dixie won’t accept a paper application anymore. People can use the computers to fill them out.”

Florala Public Library Director Cordelia Waldrop said the library uses the $1,000 it receives from CCUF as the matching portion for grants received under the Library Services and Technology Act. The library was awarded a $4,000 grant in September.

“We used it to update our collections with 151 books, 112 DVDs and 26 audio books,” she said. “We are also partnering with the Florala schools, knowing that reading and research for our school libraries was inadequate because of funding.”

Waldrop said that the library has seen increased numbers in checkouts since it updated the collections.

United Fund also helps fund the children’s summer reading program at the Opp Public Library.

OPL Director Gayle Claire said they use the more than $1,000 to purchase books to go along with their summer reading theme, supplies and crafts.

“It’s really important to us,” she said. “If we didn’t get this money, it would be a big hit to our summer program. It enables us to have the program.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, mail payments to the Covington County United Fund Inc., P.O. Box 1791, Andalusia, AL 36420, or by calling 334-428-2101.

Angie Garner helps 4-year-old Trevin Garner make a paper megaphone, while 3-year-old Landon Caldwell words on his own creation during Friday’s storytime at the Andalusia Public Library. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News