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Library District Nabs Three NACo Awards


Three Maricopa County Library District programs have been selected to receive National Association of Counties (NACo) achievement awards this year.  The programs include STEM @ the Library (Fountain Hills Branch Library), Teen Tech Experts (Perry Branch Library in Gilbert), and Read to Succeed (Guadalupe Branch Library).

The annual NACo Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program that recognizes innovative county government programs based on their own merit.

“I congratulate the three libraries that have been honored with NACo awards,” said Steve Chucri, Maricopa County Supervisor, District 2.  “Our libraries provide an important resource to residents and continue to connect our community in creative, meaningful ways,” he added.  

“I am especially proud of the STEM program that has brought interactive science education to children in both the Fountain Hills Branch Library and Gilbert’s Southeast Regional Library.  Our partnership with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has aided us in providing resources to children and their families to get them connected to the excitement and enjoyment of science through hands-on learning experiences,” Chucri said.   

STEM @ The Library, a program for 4-11-year-olds at the Fountain Hills Branch Library, has earned a NACo Achievement Award. The goal is to provide after-school, weekend and family STEM programs that help children explore science, technology, engineering and math through fun, science-related activities that build knowledge and awareness of the environment, geology, chemistry and sustainability.  By introducing STEM to children in their early years, their interest in science and science-related fields will be heightened while reducing their anxiety and fear of failure.

Guadalupe Branch’s Read to Succeed! Tutoring Program, whose mission was to improve the academic achievement of at-risk first-graders by developing and strengthening their oral language and early literacy skills, is also a NACo Achievement Award honoree.  Through a series of 60-minute lessons, this program proved successful through literacy games, vocabulary instruction, journal writing and reading using iPads.

Perry Branch’s Teen Tech Experts award-winning program capitalized on the knowledge and expertise of local high school teens who were tasked with:  trouble-shooting library customer technology problems including providing solutions for managing e-mail and social networking accounts; answering questions about smart phones and tablets, assisting with library downloads and privacy settings; responding to inquiries about navigating Word, Excel and PowerPoint; and helping with basic homework.

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