Allen County Schools is bridging the public library gap by giving all of its students access to the library’s resources.
“Our kids that have no one to actually take them to the public library, this is a way that they’re going to have the same access as kids that are more fortunate to have parents that are more involved and take special interest in developing their literacy skills,” said Ashley Spears, the librarian at the district’s intermediate center. “This will no longer be a barrier because they’re going to have access because they come to school no matter what.
“This is a way they’re going to have the same access to materials and it’ll level the playing field just a little bit.”
Amanda McReynolds delivers books to the intermediate school.
Students in all of Allen County’s schools can reserve books from the public library.
Allen County School Board Chairman Justin Marsh said the partnership between the public library and school district that makes this possible was a “no-brainer.”
“It’s good when you can get access to something like this, give the kids an opportunity,” he said. “Anytime you can get the community involved with anything you’re doing in school, it’s great.
“We’re thankful to have it and hopefully it gives the kids maybe that don’t have a chance to have access to get some more access to all those tools that public libraries have and hopefully it helps them.”
Sixth-grade student Tristan Fields, who is an avid reader, said he is looking forward to having more public library books available at his school’s library. While he is able to go to the public library to find books the school didn’t have, he is happy that all of his classmates will have access to more books.
“Now that the public library is able to deliver here, kids can read all kinds of books that they’ve never had access to before,” he said.