By Deborah Turner
(Editor's note: Deborah Turner is the Wayne County Library manager.)
The Wayne County Library’s budget was cut $23,781 midyear by the county, and we were worried that our summer program would suffer. We had a deep connection with this year’s theme of music because our elementary schools no longer have music classes.
I mentioned our issue to several businesses and friends, and the staff came up with some fundraisers to help keep our program going. Then the manager of Zaxby’s, Randall Hewitt, told us of their company’s fundraiser opportunity to help with our program.
These events were great, but we needed a lot more money and fast. Thankfully, we applied for a couple of grants: the Vibrant Communities Grant and the Rayonier Advanced Materials Foundation Grant, which we received. They took us to our goal. The 2018 “Libraries Rock” Summer Reading Program at the Wayne County Library was a "go"!
We had nine musicians, four readers, one DJ and eight teenage volunteers this year.
Five of our volunteers were adult musicians who came in and put on an awesome performance. Bill Hammond brought in his tuba to play for the families and his trumpet and trombone for them to see. Michael Evors and his son brought in a treasure trove of instruments for the families to see and hear. Their favorite was the loud bagpipes! AmiéeMarie Rose Brubaker brought in her harps, dulcimer, psaltery and bells for the families to enjoy. Ignacio Palacio came to play the guitar for the group, and as a surprise, he brought his harmonica. The crowd loved the sound the two instruments made together and how he was able to play both at the same time!
We were very excited when school students came in to volunteer. Two middle school saxophonists, Kaylee Bradford and Carly Williams, came in to read to the group, and then they played for the children. We had Payton Lantrip come in from his high school band camp to play the drums for us, and his performance was much appreciated. We also had a flutist--Erica Ann Allen, who attends Troy University majoring in music education--come in and play her flute beautifully. We had Kevin Brigman (DJ Briggy) perform at our Grand Finale for the families, and he joined in the fun to announce our grand-prize winners.
The library was also pleased to have two ladies come in to help us out with our storytime readings and crafts. Kaylie Hunter, Miss Georgia for the USA Elegant Miss Scholarship, volunteered to read to our families and pose for photos. She did a great job, and the group enjoyed their photo ops. Also, we had Heather Wilson from the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia. She came in and read to the families, and then she had a great craft where the children made their own drums out of Solo cups and balloons. This program was a hit, too!
Thanks to the support of Wayne County businesses, our program was able to happen, and to those volunteers who gave their time to make our program great--THANK YOU! You all proved that libraries do rock!