ELGIN – School District U-46, in collaboration with local libraries, launched a Library Card Challenge in March to celebrate the joy and importance of library card ownership, reading and the pending summer days with a good book in hand. Elementary school principals and staff encouraged students during the month-long challenge to become library cardholders.
All of the District’s 40 elementary schools and the five public libraries that serve U-46 participated in the 2017 Library Card Challenge. More than half of K-6 students (10,259) let the District know that they own or have access to a library card. Two elementary schools will receive trophies for their extraordinary efforts to motivate their students to sign up for library cards.
“Thanks to all our families for visiting the libraries and securing a library card for their children,” said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. “Frequent visits to our great local public libraries will build lifelong memories and provide students with the knowledge, sense of adventure and wonder that comes through reading.”
The District will award a trophy to Lowrie Elementary School in Elgin for the highest percentage of student library cardholders at 99 percent. Prior to the challenge, nine percent of students were cardholders.
“The entire Lowrie community is extremely proud of our students who love to read. We are also thankful for our supportive families who encourage reading at home,” said Lowrie Elementary School Principal Kelly O’Brien. “Becoming engaged readers and developing a lifelong love of learning in elementary school helps open young eyes and minds to a world of possibilities. A big thank you to the staff at Gail Borden Library for spending time at Lowrie to assist in registering students and families for their own library cards.”
The school plans to keep the momentum going by connecting with new families about library card ownership during registration later this month.
Elgin’s Garfield Elementary School will receive a trophy for the highest percent increase of student library cardholders. Only 14 students from Garfield were cardholders before the challenge. When the challenge concluded, 165 additional students became library cardholders, increasing the amount by more than 1,000 percent. Now almost half of the students at Garfield own library cards.
“Representatives from the library came to Garfield during our after school book fair event to sign students up for library cards. Knowing that they could come to school to get signed up for a library card was a huge draw for our families,” said Garfield Elementary School Principal Tracy Taylor. “Now they have the opportunity to take full advantage of the many wonderful things Gail Borden Library has to offer.”
CEO Sanders will recognize Lowrie and Garfield’s achievements Friday morning (April 21) with a surprise visit at an all-school assembly at each school. Lowrie will host an assembly at 9 a.m. in the school gym, 264 Oak St., Elgin. Garfield students will gather at 10 a.m. in the school cafeteria, 420 May St., Elgin. A representative from Gail Borden Public Library District will join the brief presentation.
“We want to congratulate U-46 students and their families. With such a strong correlation between academic success and library usage, the numbers of students with library cards reflects wonderful family and educational community support,” said Gail Borden Public Library District Executive Director Carole Medal. “We are proud to be a partner in supporting students. We especially congratulate the students, family and staff at Lowrie and Garfield elementary schools. We want to see all those students at the library using their cards soon.”