The Desloge Public Library recently received a $2,500 grant from the Missouri State Library for early literacy collection development.

According to Head Librarian Jill Kaufman, the granted funds were used to purchase more than 60 new children’s books.

“It was an invitation-only, formula-based grant opportunity,” she said. “Our library was identified as meeting the selection criteria which included a library service area population of 100,000 or less; low TumbleBookLibrary Deluxe usage; and has either participated in state library-sponsored early literacy training and not received a Racing to Read-related grant or ranks in the bottom 20 percent of Missouri counties in the 2016 Kids County Report.

Along with the books, Kaufman said the grant monies have been used for other items, as well.

“We’ve also purchased three early literacy tablets, flannel boards, big books, other manipulatives and games,” she said. “These new items will be used at our new early literacy story time. Beginning in January, the library will be offering early literacy storytime every Tuesday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. While, all ages are welcome, our target audience is age 2 to pre-kindergarten.”

To allow the public to see for themselves the new purchases made by the library, Kaufman and the rest of the library staff are planning a special event.

“On Saturday, Dec. 16, we will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where we will showcase and demonstrate the items we’ve purchased. The public is invited to attend and all participants will be entered into a drawing for a free children’s book.”

Kaufman noted several other events the library will be hosting the weeks ahead.

“We’re going to have a Snack and Story Time that takes place every second Thursday and is open to all ages,” she said. “It’s our hope that boys and girls will come out to hear some seasonal stories and enjoy a treat or two.”

The library will also be holding Drop-In STEAM Activities from 3 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 17, Feb. 14 and March 21, as well as from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 20, Feb. 10 and March 24.

“Children will have fun with challenging STEAM activities and fun craft projects,” Kaufman said. While it’s open for all ages, young children must have an adult present. This is a drop-in event and you do not need to stay for the entire time.”

Registration is not required for any of the library events. For more information, call 573-431-5506, message the library on Facebook or email library@desloge.com.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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