UP Library’s Summer Reading Program Gets Boost from Rotary


Park Forest Rotary President J.N. Settles, Sr. and Secretary Tiffani Graham, present 150 dictionaries to the University Park Library Board. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

University Park, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Representatives from the Rotary Club of Park Forest donated one hundred fifty dictionaries and two bicycles to the University Park Public Library District for their Summer Reading Club 2009, “Be Creative @ Your Library.”

Rotarians James Settles, president, Tiffani Graham, secretary, and Eugene Sparing, international service chair, attended the libraries board meeting and formally presented these wonderful donations to Rotary member and Library Director, Kelley D. Nichols and the University Park Public Library District Board of Trustees: Marilyn j. Payton, president, James W. Young, vice-president, Sheryl L. Jones-Harper, Treasurer, Deborah Orr, secretary, Vivian Covington, Marilois Green and Jewell Thompson. The event was taped courtesy of Rotary’s media specialist, Christel Allen.

After the dedication, vice-president James W. Young graciously accepted the dictionaries on behalf of the library board and stated that as a school teacher, he recognizes the value and importance of such a precious gift for children. The Library Board thanked the Rotary Club of Park Forest and both committees encouraged Kelley D. Nichols to continue to be an advocate for literacy and a community-service liason. Kelley was awarded with a plaque and a dictionary was presented to the board members in attendance.

Rotarian Eugene Sparing explained that the Dictionary Donations were a special project of EarlyAct, a group of about thirty two 6th and 7th graders whose motto is “Service Above Self.” They made the dedication stickers and placed them inside of each dictionary. A total of 1,000 dictionaries will be donated to 3rd graders in school district 162, 163, Park Forest Library and University Park Library. The library board expressed their gratitude and asked that Eugene commend the youth on their great service to the community.

Rotary President James Settles, Sr. noted that the bicycles are part of a joint project with the South East Rotary Club of Chicago. A number of bicycles were donated to South East Rotary by the local police department. Due to the condition of some of the bikes, the Bike Doctors, 17306 South Kedzie, Hazel Crest, is supporting the Rotary Club by donating a portion of the repairs to the bikes.

The bicycles and the dictionaries will be used to support Summer Reading Club 2009 “Be Creative @ Your Library.” This state-wide themed program is held every summer to encourage reading while school is not in session. The bicycles and dictionaries will be a great incentive to attract students to participate and read during the summer, states Kelley Nichols. “Imagine being a kid and walking into your local library and seeing a beautiful bike displayed. This will make some kids summer!”

“Be Creative @ Your Library” runs 7 weeks from June 15-August 1, 2009. Children will win a prize every single week upon completing a book and writing a brief book review. The library serves approximately 7,500 residents, of which about 5,000 are students K-12.

University Park Public Library District Board of Trustees would like to thank Rotary of Park Forest, South East Rotary, the South Chicago Police Department and the Bike Doctors for their support in promoting reading this summer. For more information on the summer reading program please go to www.universityparkpubliclibrary.org or call 708-534-2580.