The Columbus Metropolitan Library and the Groveport Madison Local School District have implemented a new book delivery service as a pilot program, just one part of a reading readiness plan intended to spread to all the school districts served by the library.
CML spokesman Ben Zenitsky said library officials have been working closely with the Columbus City and Groveport Madison school districts to roll out programming designed to help students meet the requirements of Ohio's new third-grade reading guarantee.
Groveport Madison was the first district to sign up to have the library deliver books to its elementary schools.
“This is a very special relationship we’ve begun with Groveport Madison’s elementary schools that came out of our goal of putting more books into more kids’ hands, and Groveport was very receptive,” Zenitsky said.
The new program started mid-February and works in conjunction with another new library program called the Kids Card.
"We've implemented the Columbus Metropolitan Library Kids Card systemwide, which will allow kids under the age of 18 to check out up to three books at a time without requiring a parent to sign off on it and without any late fees or fines," Zenitsky said.
Another special program aimed at serving Groveport Madison school district families, as well as others in southeast Columbus, is a Ready for Kindergarten area being implemented at the CML Southeast Branch, 3980 S. Hamilton Road.
"In the Southeast Branch, we're developing a kindergarten-specific area to help parents and kids get acclimated to books and reading, because there are still children coming into kindergarten who aren't certain which way to hold a book or who don't know to read left to right," Zenitsky said.
"This will be a dedicated area to help provide families with the tools they need to teach those basics and get them used to using the library," he said.
Systemwide, the Columbus Metropolitan Library has also implemented a new Reading Buddies program, also aimed at improving the third-grade reading guarantee scores. It pairs students with a volunteer or staff member at any of the 21 CML branches for a twice-a-week, hour-long reading instruction session.
The Reading Buddies program is free and available to any third-grader studying for the next round of testing, slated for April 21 through May 16. Students who failed both the fall and spring testing will be required to repeat the third grade.