During Audubon Elementary School’s Monday morning meeting on Sept. 24, the students and staff welcomed special guests from the Daviess County Public Library.
DCPL Public Services Department Director Shannon Sandefur, and Youth Services Librarian, Ryan Henry, walked into the gymnasium with a special surprise for the bleachers full of awaiting students. Henry pulled a cart full of boxes behind him as Assistant Principal Sarah Velotta prepared the students for the generous gift they were about to receive.
Sandefur and Henry presented the school with the gift of 1,000 books donated by the Friends of the Library that will be used to stock the school’s Book Swap closet.
The school sponsors a Book Swap Day once a month, inviting every child to visit the closet to receive a free book to keep. AES also hosts a book drive each month, when students may donate books that will be added to the collection and made available to their friends and classmates.
When asked what prompted Sandefur to facilitate such a generous donation to Audubon, she gave Velotta most of the credit.
“Sarah is probably one of the strongest literacy advocates within the school system,” Sandefur said. “Every single year she’s called us (saying), ‘We want every single child to come to the public library.’ ‘We want them to get a tour.'”
Velotta, in turn, gave most of the credit to Family Resource Center Coordinator Kelly May.
“Kelly’s a huge partner with us getting books in kids’ hands,” Velotta said. “She’s been a huge advocate for the book swap room and organizing that. She’s a fill the need girl.”
Fill the need they did, one thousand times over. However, the literacy fun did not stop there. Their friends from the library will be back on Thursday to visit with students and their families.
“It’s Eagle Family Night,” Velotta said. “It’s just an opportunity that we’re really pushing active family engagement. We provide sessions for parents and kids to do something together. The public library is one of those sessions.”
Audubon Elementary School will host an Eagle Family Night from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27. Students and their families are invited to attend and enjoy a free meal and a wide variety of activities designed to create special memories while families learn together.