In a recent community report "It Takes A Valley" from the Stillwater Area Public Schools, several of our club's members were mentioned and pictured.  Janis Donnelly, Lynda Halbert and Dave Waldschmidt are featured in the article on the literacy program at Stonebridge and Rutherford elementary schools.  See the full article here (page 4).


Volunteers keep media centers stocked and kids reading

Over the past several months, a small group of community members have spent
hours of their time volunteering
in the Stonebridge and Rutherford elementary school
media centers.
Each week the volunteers restock the library shelves with hundreds of
books, assist
in checking out other books, and work with students to find materials
on bookshelves. They also spend time reading one-on-one
with kindergarten and first
grade students and helping them practice their literacy skills.

Over the years, budget cuts and changes in programming and state standards have had
an impact on media centers
in the district. Media specialists have become few and far
between and those that remain split their time between two or even three buildings.
With their limited
time in each school being focused on instructing students, there
is very little time left for reading with students, checking in books or restocking the

A team of staff members identified the issues that arise because of short staffing in the
media centers and developed
a solution for elementary schools that involved reaching
out to the community for help. The Stillwater Sunrise Rotary Club heard of the need
and the volunteer program was born. Though it has been piloted
at just two schools
year the hope is that additional volunteers can be recruited and the program might
to more of the district's elementary schools in the coming years.

"l am so happy to be able to help the librarian and l'm very pleased to be able to work in
the library as well!' said Lynda Halbert, a volunteer and former school teacher. "But there
is nothing more moving than to see the smiles on the faces of the students l've
able to connect with. I know it is important for the student to be reading the letters and
words, but for me, I am reading their faces for that big smilel
(correct email address is