Literacy courses at the Summit County Library
June 19, 2012
A multi-cultural kids program began this week at The Summit County Library in Kimball Junction. Summit County Library Multi-Cultural Services Librarian Daisy Hodson, said the kids activities, including story time, are scheduled every Monday at 6 p.m., at the library in Kimball Junction.
According to Hodson, Park City Community Education and the Park City School District have partnered with the library to encourage students in the Spanish dual-immersion programs, and students who are non-native English speakers to attend the events. She said the library will also be working on getting more books in French for students in the French dual-immersion program.
"We encourage people that are in the dual-immersion programs to come and were also working with St. Mary’s Church to do an informational night for Latinos," she said, "You’re learning the language and you can come listen to the story or watch a movie and it’s good to have that practice and that outlet."
The library will also start a children’s program at McPolin Elementary School on June 21 through July 19. The story times are scheduled Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hodson said one reason she picked the elementary school is because of the Spanish population in the area.
"We’ll have the Bookmobile there sometimes and the stories we will be reading are in English, but they have a lot of the Spanish culture," she said. "We want them to be able to hold on to that culture and then adapt to new cultures."
According to Hodson, most of the Latino community isn’t familiar with the library, and it’s a new idea that they can check out books for free. The library will also be starting an Adult Literacy program, Hodson said, adding that they partnered with the Utah State Library and are working on applying for grants.
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She said the program will not only help Latinos earn high school diplomas, but it will also teach students computer skills. The requirement is about 100 hours of course work, so students come in about five hours a week and do computer exercises. Hodson said by the end of the course, students show significant improvement in reading and writing.
The library, school district and Park City Community Education will also offer beginner, intermediate and advance English courses. Hodson said dividing the students into three categories will add to class proficiency.
Although the program focuses on native Spanish-speakers, students can also attend to practice Spanish. One of the program’s goals is to help Latinos learn to read and write in their own language, Hodson said, adding that this will make learning English easier.
Hodson is also working on a Family Literacy Program, which will help Latinos set up a bank account, take out a loan, fill out a job application, or make an appointment with their child’s school teacher.
"Learning to navigate in the local society is important and helps them feel like contributing citizens in the community. We want to give them a voice and encourage them to participate in the community, which is what they want too," she said.
The programs are open to anyone, but Hodson said most students are between the ages of 20 and 60. All the courses and programs are free. For more information contact Daisy Hodson at (435) 615-3948.