Volunteers honored during National Library Week

ROCKWALL, Texas – April 15, 2013 – A court proclamation, a check for more than a quarter million dollars, and a luncheon for library volunteers mark Rockwall County’s observation of National Library Week.

At the April 9th meeting, Judge Jerry Hogan and the Commissioners Court issued a proclamation designating Tuesday, April 9 as Rockwall County Library Volunteer Day. Volunteer representatives Joan Parrish and Carolyn Duckworth accepted the proclamation.

In presenting the proclamation, Judge Hogan expressed his support for the Rockwall County Library, commenting, “I would like to just publicly acknowledge all of you library supporters for the library we have and the volunteer work that you contribute to the library. It’s a showpiece for the county and it’s one of the best that I’ve ever seen. We’ve just got to make sure that it stays like that, that we continue to support it, and that we provide the material – the product – that goes into the library.”

Kathy Melston, president of Friends of the Rockwall County Library, presented the court a check facsimile for $289,415.00 representing the value of 13,282 hours of volunteer services performed at the library during fiscal year 2012. She explained that volunteers shelve books, maintain the Book Alcove, and perform light clerical duties that keep the library running smoothly. Student volunteers work in the children’s area and assist during the Summer Reading Program.

Melston told the court that 70 tutors work with the library’s literacy program, Reading for Adults. These volunteers teach adults who are in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, tutor people who have never learned to read, and conduct citizenship classes. This past year, 65 adults have earned GED certificates, and 22 have become citizens.

Since the program’s inception in 2000, 267 students have obtained GED certificates, 21 have entered college, 8 native born citizens have learned to read and write, and 1,705 ESL students have raised their reading and speaking levels.

For many, these accomplishments translate to better employment opportunities, increased earning power and improved economic conditions.

Hogan closed by saying, “Thank you all very much, thank you to the Library Advisory Board, thank you to all the volunteers, thank you to all those people who teach in the citizenship and GED classes. They’re opening up whole new opportunities for people.”

The Friends of the Library board members will honor library volunteers with a luncheon on Tuesday, April 16th. More information about becoming a library volunteer can be obtained by calling 972-204-7700.

Nell Welborn
Publicity Chair
Friends of the Rockwall County Library

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