“Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.”
Peter S. Jennison

When children become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond. Learning to read is hard work for children. The U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Literacy, in a report dated 4/28/2013, estimated that 19% of graduates in the U.S. cannot read. It has been estimated that while 99% of persons over the age of fifteen in the United States are able to write their names, and read some words, 40 to 50% of adults are functionally illiterate.

Sioux Center Public Library is committed to literacy and has provided an opportunity for children to practice reading to volunteer “Wise Owls” for the past three years. This program, called the “Owl’s Nest” is an exciting opportunity for children (ages TK – 4thgrade) to practice reading with an experienced reader (junior in high school and above)! They use books, fun interactive games that support literacy, worksheets, and writing activities to practice their reading and writing skills.

Through the volunteers in our “Owl’s Nest “Program children gain self-confidence, reading skills, academic growth and a new desire to read. Why? Because they thrive on having their own “hero” take time to listen and/or read with them. To continue this program we need YOU. Six “Little Owl” applications are waiting for the right person who loves children and has a concern for the future of our youth.

To become a “Wise Owl” simply stop in at the circulation desk to pick up an application. You will receive a 20-30 minute training session and will be paired with a “Little Owl”. A meeting will be set up with you, the Little Owl, a parent, and a staff member to set a date and time when you will meet at the library. The schedule is flexible and determined by your schedule and the child’s.

“You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother (or a hero) who read to me.”

― Strickland Gillian

 Whoooo ever said learning to read was boring? Contact Judy at 722-2138 if you are interested in learning more about this exciting program.