Written by Carolyn Levin, email@example.com Tuesday, 06 August 2013 00:00
Every summer, students in grades 5 and 6 give back to the Port Washington Public Library by volunteering their time in the Children’s Room. Participants receive training from library staff, and then volunteer two hours each week from July 8 to August 16. “We take a maximum of 50 kids, and then have a waiting list,” said Rachel S. Fox, Director of Children’s Services for the PWPL. “We rotate 2 kids every two hours that the library is open.”
The summer volunteers help with various tasks in the Children’s Room, including preparing materials for craft programs, straightening shelves, weeding in the garden, and checking the condition of DVD’s. Their greatest responsibility is helping run the summer reading club. The summer reading club, for children entering first through sixth grades, rewards members who have read at least 6 books with prizes, including a certificate, participation gift and an invitation to the Children’s Room carnival on August 16.
The volunteer program is now in its 44th year. The goal is to give the volunteers their first work experience and to introduce them to the jobs of a librarian as well as the wonderful things a library has to offer, according to Fox. “Working at the library is a great way to experience a job when you are young,” said Jaime L., a 6th grader who is volunteering for her second summer. “It also feels good to help little children. Every librarian is accommodating and lets you help out. And, some of them are really funny also,” she continued.
The library contacts the students periodically at other times during the year when volunteers are needed. The summer volunteers are also encouraged to stay in touch with the library by joining the tween programs during the year.