Rockwall County Library’s Reading for Adults has been awarded two grants to purchase materials.

Rockwall was one of 15 public libraries in Texas to receive a Texas Reads Grant. Monies for these grants come from the sale of Texas Reads license plates. The grant program, administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, funds projects for public library programs to promote reading and literacy within local communities. Reading for Adults will receive $2,500 to purchase materials to be used in our English as a second language program.

The second grant we have received is the National Book Scholarship Fund Grant from ProLiteracy Worldwide. ProLiteracy Worldwide was formed by the merger of Laubach Literacy International and Literacy Volunteers of America. Reading for Adults will receive $1,871 worth of materials from New Readers Press, the publishing arm of ProLiteracy Worldwide.

The library in cooperation with Friends of the Library sponsors Reading for Adults. The Friends of the Library has donated money for us to hire Sharon Bogard as grant writer and fund raiser. Ms. Bogard wrote both of these successful grant applications.

During 2005, our Reading for Adults tutors volunteered 6,216 hours. On Dec. 12, they presented the county commissioners with a "check" for $109,091, which symbolizes the value of those hours to the citizens of Rockwall County. That amount is based on the hourly value of a volunteer’s time, which is $17.55.

Seventy-five tutors volunteer to teach people to read, write and speak English. They also teach citizenship classes and tutor people who are working toward their GED.

During 2005, three adults gained citizenship and five earned their GED. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, please call Gloria at 972-882-0340.

Each month, we always have interesting displays at the Rockwall County Library, but during December and January, we are having a special display of artwork done by students from Lakeland Preparatory Academy and their sister school in Przemysl, Poland.

The students in Przemysl shared pictures and written descriptions of their homes and city with the students in Lakeland Preparatory Academy. The Lakeland students have done the same and will send their work to the school in Poland in February. Until then, our library patrons have the opportunity to view the pictures and stories from students of both schools. It is a rare treat to read about the Polish community and also to see how the Lakeland students describe their homes.

We are always looking for interesting displays. Please, call us at 972-882-0340 if you have a collection you would like to share. Our display cases are locked to keep your items secure, and we change them each month.

During the month of January ,we are encouraging patrons to return their overdue books and donate to Helping Hands at the same time. Director Margo Neilsen has indicated Helping Hands especially needs jelly, cooking oil, sugar, flour and cereal. Patrons may bring in their overdue books and the nonperishable food products Jan. 1-31, and their fines will be waived.

We are very excited that the design phase of the library project will begin in January. We hope to involve our patrons in the planning of the building through surveys and focus groups to be held in January and February.

The library is located on Rusk Street just west of the Rockwall Police Station. Our hours are Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The phone number is 972-882-0340.

The library will be closed Dec. 31 through Jan. 2. The staff of the Rockwall County Library wishes everyone a Happy New Year.

We hope one of your resolutions in 2006 will be to come to the library and register for a library card.

Kathy Melston is director of the Rockwall County Library.

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