2013-10-28: Information Station Column
News from the Sioux Center Library:
If you walk into The Sioux Center Public Library’s Children’s Section and noticed a college student or an adult sitting at a table and reading a book together or snuggling up in a cozy bean bag chair, you probably just witnessed The Owl’s Nest Program in full swing! This week we are going to tell you about how the Owl’s Nest Program works. This program was introduced at the library last year and we are so happy with how it has taken off! The way it works is that parents or teachers of elementary age students refer to the library staff who they think could use a little extra help in the area of reading. Some children just need more time to read out loud and practice sounding out words. Ronda De Haan, Children’s Outreach Coordinator for the Sioux Center Public Library, has a list of names of college students or adults who volunteer their time to help these children one on one. Most of the college students are education majors at Dordt College and want the experience of working one on one with a student. There is one college student who said that she just wanted to “get off of campus and do something to help others”. Usually, the “Wise Owls” and the “Owlettes” meet once a week for 30-45 minutes at the library. A weekly session may involve spending time on the iPads (we have 3 iPads that were funded for the Owl’s Nest Program with money from a grant), playing a language arts/reading game and then picking out books, and taking turns reading pages of books together and discussing what was read. Right now the program consists of 12 “Wise Owls and Owlettes working together at different times after school and on Saturdays. The “Wise Owls” make sure to make it an enjoyable time of reading together and hopefully instill their love of reading to the “Owlette”.
We feel that it is really a win-win situation for all who are involved in the program. The students are benefiting from having someone work with them to improve their reading skills and the college students/adults are benefiting from spending time with children and experiencing the satisfaction of helping a child become a better reader. One mother commented that her child doesn’t like to read out loud at home but loves coming to the library and reading to/with their adult volunteer.
We can always use more volunteers at the library with The Owl’s Nest Program! If you are interested in helping out or signing up a child, please contact Ronda De Haan at the Sioux Center Public Library (722-2138).