The Wire - January 2019

This article reprinted with permission from the Marion Star. The Marion Star has awarded grants to three area organizations in an effort to im- prove the life for all in the community. Editor Benjamin Lanka said the winners were selected by a committee based on their mission and the good the grants could do. “It was a very difficult decision this year, but we believe all our recipients showed a strong commitment to making Marion stronger," he said. "I am particularly excit- ed about our decision to aid the library's effort to keep children reading over the summer.” The Marion County Public Library was awarded $3,000 for its Summer Reading Club, which aims to keep Marion County kids engaged in reading and learning dur- ing the summer months. The program pro- vides coupons and other incentives to en- courage kids to read, and in 2019 it will focus on its theme of space and science. Whittney Mahle, youth services manager at the library, said studies have shown summer reading programs allow kids to be more successful in school. This past sum- mer, the program reached more than 1,000 kids and teens. Downtown Marion was awarded $1,000 to help with its purchase of signs to help direct people to different businesses and key locations downtown. By helping peo- ple get to new businesses, the organization believes it can spur economic activity in the city's core. “Downtown Marion believes that con- necting people to the district is vital to its continued growth and development,” or- ganization president Beth Meadows said. “What we know is that wayfinding can often be a barrier to that connection. With this contribution from Gannett, we will be able to begin the process of providing Street Signs that will point the way to the destination our visitors seek.” Marion Wings &Wheels was awarded $1,000 to assist with their annual fly-in events. This year the event brought Robert Lee "Hoot" Gibson, who flew five missions into space, and his wife and fellow astronaut Rhea Seddon to town to promote aviation and edu- cation. The organization was created to introduce kids to aviation by giving them their first ride in an airplane. Its mission is to inspire the youth of the community to pursue a vocation in science, technology, engineer- ing or math. More information on the program can be found at . January 2019 MarionStar awardsgrant toLibrary Director’s Note Gary Branson Executive Director This month we are looking ahead to great things for 2019: ~ We already have programs scheduled well into 2019. Visit to see what’s coming. Make sure to check back often as some programs require registration and can fill up fast! ~ As you can see in the headline to the left, plans are already in place to impact more students than ever before with our annual Summer Reading Club. ~ Book Discussion titles have been selected and scheduled. Visit discussions for the full list. ~ Books in Focus is a new monthly program that will feature Library staff talking about up- coming new books. Join us every 2nd Tuesday (unless otherwise noted) at 2pm. ~ Storytimes continue to grow and offer a great opportunity for learning and socialization for children - and their parent/ guardian. ~ Volunteer at the library! Our volunteer ranks are growing but we always have need for more community support. Call us or stop at the front desk to learn about available opportunities. “Each year our goal is to promote a lifelong love of reading and help kids and teens to retain literacy skills over the summer break through engag- ing programming and reading challenges. We are very excit- ed for the opportunity this grant gives us to deliver great programs.” WHITTNEY MAHLE MPL Youth Services Manager For more program information and updates, visit or call 740-387-0992 Gannett Editor Benjamin Lanka, MPL Whittney Mahle and Gary Branson