The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) awarded SC State University 1890 Research & Extension a certificate of commendation as an outstanding program deserving of national recognition.

Nominated by delegates of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians, the commendation recognizes the extension program for providing South Carolina students, families and communities with resources and opportunities to build better lives through literacy and life-long learning initiatives.

“I am excited for our organization to be recognized for the hard work of our staff,” Dr. Louis Whitesides, vice president and executive director of SC State 1890 Research & Extension, stated.

“We have a forward-thinking team that works collaboratively with schools and community organizations to promote literacy and advocate for the overall advancement of youth and the community as a whole.” (The virtual acceptance remarks delivered by Whitesides can be viewed by logging into this link: 1890.info/AASL-award.)

Anya Douglas-Bonnette, delegate of the South Carolina chapter and librarian at Robert E. Howard Middle School in Orangeburg, says she’s grateful for 1890’s efforts to improve the lives of students and families.

“I have witnessed the efforts of the SC State 1890 Research & Extension Program as an educator within a public school and as a parent of two six-year-old children,” said Douglas-Bonnette.

“From collaborative projects that connect the world outside of the classroom to their annual Read Across America Day celebration for early learners, 1890 continues to strengthen communities.”

Each year, SC State 1890 participates in Read Across America, a national youth literacy initiative. Held this year on March 2, the 1890 Program hosted more than 700 students during week-long virtual celebrations across the Palmetto State. Students in Pre-K through second grade from participating schools received a complimentary copy of Dr. Seuss’ “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut” along with a stovepipe hat to provide an interactive learning environment that promotes literacy. The events were organized by 4-H Youth Development extension agents in the seven regional service areas.

In addition to Read Across America, SC State encourages literacy and the improvement of academic performance through initiatives such as virtual summer reading book clubs and SMART Academy, a summer camp for rising third graders, which integrates technology in traditional classroom settings to enhance reading and mathematics skills.

The mission of AASL is to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning. AASL works to ensure that all school library members collaborate to connect learners with ideas and information and prepare students for life-long learning, informed decision-making, a love of reading and the use of information technologies.

To learn more about SC State 1890 Research & Extension and other 4-H Youth Development programs offered, contact 4-H Youth Development State Program Leader, Demier Z. Richardson-Sanders, at dricha6@scsu.edu. To learn more about American Association of School Librarians visit www.ala.org.

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