Teen plans kids club project to fill in gap for reading program
The Chino Valley Public Library is without a children’s librarian to put on a summer reading program following the retirement of Darlene Westcott, so Frontier Girl Elizabeth Vicory has created a book-sized bridge to cover the gap and give kids something fun to do for over the summer.
“I thought that since this summer, kids still would want to do something fun and … educational,” said Elizabeth, a 16-year-old who attends Prescott High School. “I thought I might do it sort of in my own way since Miss Darlene’s no longer the (children’s librarian) that will also count for my Eagle (Level) Diamond Award.”
The end result is a Summer Fun Kids Club that is planned at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from May 29 to July 31 in either the Chino Valley Public Library Community Room or Memory Park.
Programs with the club will include a rock painting class, science fun day, summer Olympics and a character-con full of contests, fandom trivia, book displays and costumes based on book characters.
Additionally, there will be door prizes and books will be given to every child in attendance, said Suzanne Vicory, Elizabeth’s mother.
“We’re cleaning out her children’s library, her own personal library,” Suzanne Vicory said. “She keeps wanting to move up in reading levels and there’s no bookshelf space.”
Suzanne Vicory has been assisting her daughter in organizing the Summer Fun Kids Club as the main contact person for the many moving parts that the project involves. People tend to call during work hours, which is when school hours are, she said.
Elizabeth is establishing the club for her Frontier Girl Eagle Level Diamond Award. Frontier Girls Clubs is a Scout-like youth program offered as an alternative to Girl Scouts with more than 1,200 individual badges. Girls in the Eagle level are in high school and take on advanced leadership roles within the troop, earn badges and awards, organize and lead community service projects and learn new skills.
The Diamond award is the highest award at the Eagle level.
Putting the club together has been sort of stressful because it involves having to think like a kid and how they might be interested in certain things, but also setting it up so they can actually do those things, Elizabeth said.
While it is not a summer reading program, the club is going to be a good bridge between years, said Scott Bruner, director of Chino Valley Community Services and director of the Chino Valley Public Library. Though each library across the state does its own summer reading programs, the Arizona State Library Archives support and sponsor those programs and the club is a separate entity, Bruner said.
Westcott put a summer reading program on for 23 years, but after her retirement no one was available to put one on, he said.
“We don’t have our children’s librarian yet,” Bruner said. “The job is out right now being offered, but there’s not going to be time for summer.”
Elizabeth is also looking for volunteers to help run some of the programs and is getting sponsors to help support the project, Suzanne Vicory said.
For more information about the Summer Fun Kids Club or to volunteer, contact Suzanne Vicory at 928-899-3582.