Alabaster library receives teen reading grant

Alabaster’s Albert L. Scott Library recently received national help in bringing a teen-focused reading program to the city.

The American Library Association recently named the Alabaster library one of the 2009 recipients of the Great Stories CLUB Grant, which will allow the library to partner with a community organization to offer a youth-oriented book club.

Through the grant, the library will receive 11 copies each of the books “The Afterlife” by Gary Soto, “Rules of Survival” by Nancy Werlin and “One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies” by Sonya Sones.

After library officials receive the books in early 2010, they will partner with Alabaster’s Kid’s First Awareness Community Center to offer the reading program to children at the center. After reading each of the books, children who participate in the program will be allowed to keep the books, explained Youth Services Librarian Frances Smith.

“We’re excited to be able to do this outreach program with Kid’s First,” Smith said, noting CLUB stands for connecting libraries, underserved teens and books. “The Great Stories CLUB will be a wonderful opportunity for the students to increase their reading skills and ability and have fun at the same time.”

While the children are reading the books, library and Kid’s First employees and volunteers will encourage them to discuss their reading, and will seek to strengthen the children’s reading comprehension.

“Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading,” Smith wrote in a press release.

The program will continue a longstanding partnership between the library and Kid’s First. During the past several years, children at Kid’s First have visited the library several times for story readings and other programs, Smith said.

The library has also donated used computers and other equipment to the children’s facility.

“We are so happy to get the chance to have this club,” said Kid’s First Director Cindy Hawkins.