Update from iEducate Delaware Honoree Tameca Beckett
This blog post was co-authored by 2013 iEducate Delaware Honoree Tameca Beckett, Youth Services Librarian at the Laurel Public Library. To learn about the 2014-15 year of iEducate Delaware, read this blog post.
Wow! So many wonderful things have been happening since I was awarded as a 2013 iEducate Delaware Honoree. The STEM program, “Get Your M.E.S.S. On!”, was made possible by the extraordinary volunteer efforts of the Laurel Public Library teens. Our teen program, with over 60 teen participants, focuses on providing teens with excellent programming, instruction in information and digital literacy, and leadership/volunteer opportunities. In 2013, the Laurel Public Library Teen Group logged more than 700 volunteer hours at the Laurel Public Library, which would include the very necessary support for “Get Your M.E.S.S. On!”. This year our teens were awarded the 2014 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Award in recognition of their generous gifts of time, talent, and energy.
Also this year our teens completed an 8-month service-learning project in a partnership with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. Middle and high school teens selected a topic, engaged the community through a town forum and community meetings, and developed an action plan to address the issue. The selected topic was healthy weight and nutrition. The forum, Get Healthy, Laurel – How can you encourage Healthy Weights among Laurel’s Youth?, was held in October 2013. As a result of the community engagement, teens decided to create a community fitness trail that includes exercise stations designed for a wide range of users, both in age and physical capabilities. With the generous support from various community partners and volunteers, the Broad Creek Community Fitness Trail was installed on Sunday, May 25th at the Roger C. Fisher Memorial Park.
We will be using the Broad Creek Community Fitness Trail during our 8-week Summer Reading Program. Activities will include, “M.E.S.S. and Move Mondays”, Preschool Storywalks, JumpBunch fitness programs, and more! Additionally, our “Girls Get IT!(Information Technology)” program, and Robotics Lab will provide girls, ages 8-18 years old, in Laurel with the resources to explore STEM competencies by providing hands-on opportunities for girls to learn engineering design, scientific process, technological literacy and mathematics. The initial session will be offered as a six-week mobile robotics immersion unit during our Summer Reading Program. This program was made possible with the generous support of the Fund for Women and the iEducate Delaware financial award.
Finally, I am extremely honored to say that the American Library Association (ALA) has named me as one of their 2014 Emerging Leaders. The ALA Emerging Leaders program is a leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. In addition to presenting my group project at the ALA Annual Conference this summer, I will also be speaking at one of the sessions, “Advocacy and Promotion of Rural and Small Libraries.” As a Board Member of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries and a Delaware Youth Services Librarian, I hope that my work on a local, national and international level will continue to reflect libraries as educators, community engagers, problem solvers, and launching pads to the world around us.