Atmore Library receives $8,200 grant
By By Adrienne McKenzie
The Atmore Public Library is playing its part in helping students succeed in their studies.
The library was recently awarded a 2008 "Strengthening Youth and Family" grant in the amount of $8,200 and the Friends of the Library provided the 25 percent local match.
"This grant will initiate the second phase of the library's literacy program," director Cathy McKinley said. "The first phase began in 2004 when the library purchased computers and software to help prepare high school students for the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. The second phase consists of six computers and reading and math software."
The software that was purchased is designed to assist middle school students who need help in reading and math skills.
"The reading software teaches word recognition, reading fluency and comprehension," McKinley said. "The math software teaches a wide range of primary and intermediate math skills."
McKinley said the goal of the library is to help students when they are not in school.
"Our main goal is to make available to these students additional help outside the classroom," she said.
All middle school students are welcome to use the software anytime the library is open, McKinley said. However, they will have first priority from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday.
"We encourage all middle school students from public, private and home school to use our equipment and software," she said. "Microsoft Word and Excel programs were also purchased for those who need to type research papers or spreadsheets."
McKinley said that the Internet can also be accessed from any computer in the library.
On Dec. 6 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. there will be an open house at the library.
"Everyone is invited to the open house, whether they have a child of middle school age or not," McKinley said. "Business leaders and organizations that mentor children are encouraged to attend."
Children are also encouraged to check out books. Those who read the most books from January until March will receive special prizes.
McKinley said even though the program focuses on helping middle school students, adults who have limited skills in reading and math are welcome to use the software.
The Friends of the Library provided the 25 percent local match.
"Your donation to the Friends of the Library provided the 25 percent local match," McKinley said. "The library could not possibly provide these programs without the support of the Friends organization."
McKinley said in 2009 the library will begin the third and final phase of the literacy program. The efforts of the third phase will be focused on elementary students.
"The Friends of the Library purchased reading software last year and we will purchase additional computers and software to cover math as well," she said.
McKinley said she appreciates Atmore residents for supporting the Atmore Public Library throughout the years.
"When we have visitors from Mobile and Pensacola and other areas, they are always very impressed with our library," she said. "We would like to thank you for your support all these years and we ask that you continue supporting your library."