Giving Tuesday

     This year, the Adams County Library System is participating in #GivingTuesday.  We plan to dedicate funds raised to Literacy Outreach.  By offering programs supporting literacy, we provide tools that help the members of our community throughout their lives.  Strong literacy skills help individuals to be good employees, keep themselves and their families healthy, and be active in their communities.  By supporting the ACLS with a donation, you will be helping us provide a variety of long-term programs that touch everyone in Adams County.
     Literacy is more than just the ability to read and write.  It is having the basic skills or knowledge of a subject - any subject.  The Pennsylvania Library Association, through their PA Forward program, has defined five literacies that they deem are essential to success: Basic Literacy, Information Literacy, Civic and Social Literacy, Health Literacy, and Financial Literacy.  
     Through our Adult Programming, the Adams County Library System is serving the real-life needs of our community. We offer a variety of programming that includes book clubs, gardening programs, writing workshops and trivia.  The annual One Book program includes a variety of programs on the themes and elements found within.  We host speakers that share their expertise on topics such as healthcare, dementia, pet care and mindfulness. We offer internet access and help in using evolving technology.  Our programming goal is to not only share information, but to have fun while we’re doing so.
     A key component of teen literacy is access to reading materials. The Adams County Library System has this covered.  Teens can choose from many manga series, graphic novels, traditional novels and nonfiction books.  But sometimes that wide array of choices can be overwhelming! The Harbaugh~Thomas Library offers subscription boxes to teens.  What is a subscription box? First, teens let the library staff know their reading preferences. What genres do they favor? Preferred format?  Does the length of the book matter?  Staff carefully select a library book, add a small surprise, and place them in the subscription box. Teens pick up their boxes monthly. This personalized guidance on reading material mixed with some fun is a great combination to encourage reading!
     STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs are offered to children, teens and adults.  These programs are fun as well as educational, engaging participants with hands-on experiences.  The participants are encouraged to learn, solve problems and report results as they enjoy interacting with others.  The resulting skills of gathering and evaluating evidence is in turn used to make decisions, an important life attribute for all.  Join a STEM program and increase your literacy skills -- writing, critical thinking, problem solving, vocabulary building, viewing, listening, and speaking, skills that are important in all aspects of life and critical in developing an educated workforce.
     Children can practice their reading skills by participation in Barks & Books!  Animals are inherently non-judgmental and make the perfect audience members for young readers.  Anxious and reluctant readers gain more confidence in their reading abilities when paired with the calming presence of a pet.  A trained therapy dog and handler dedicate their attention to the children as they read to a furry friend.  The children who attend the Barks & Books programs vary in age and reading ability. The children enjoy the company of the pets while they are reading and their desire to read grows as they develop valuable social and emotional skills. Through strengthening the animal-human bond, the literacy rates of our youth are growing.
     ACLS also installs StoryWalk displays around the county.  StoryWalks are created by displaying single pages of a book on signs and placing them along a walking trail.  Everyone is invited to enjoy a story as they go on a walk with friends and family. Readers of all ages are more engaged in the story as they walk among its pages, developing literacy skills with the added benefit of exercise. StoryWalks are visited by children, adults, dog walkers and families.  Readers of all ages love a good story!
     The Library System and GARA have partnered to install permanent StoryWalk posts along the walking trail at the Gettysburg Rec Park.  This project was funded through a grant administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.  You can also find temporary StoryWalks in Biglerville, East Berlin and at Carroll Valley. We are currently raising funds to place permanent posts and frames in the park at Carroll Valley Commons and the East Berlin Community Park.    
    This year the funds from the #GivingTuesday campaign will be used to continue to provide literacy outreach to the Adams County community.