Colorado Association of Libraries honors DPL with youth services awards
The Colorado Association of Libraries (CAL) has announced its awards for 2017, including two honors for the Denver Public Library.
Corinne (Cori) Jackamore, Youth Services manager, was honored with the Excellence in Youth Services Award, individual category, and the Denver Public Library Read Aloud program received the Excellence in Youth Services Award, group category.
“I am humbled and also very grateful,” says Jackamore, who has been with Denver Public Library for more than two decades.
Serving Denver’s youth is a priority and a passion for Jackamore who is well-known at the library, in library circles and the greater Denver community for the energy, commitment and joy she brings to her work. Jackamore’s list of accomplishments is impressive. Since coming to the library in 1992, Jackamore developed and established ongoing funding for the After School is Cool (ASIC) program which offers activities and opportunities for children 8-12 to engage with adults during the vulnerable after-school hours.
In 1995, Teen Summer of Reading began with a $500 donation; Jackamore and a team of librarians led the efforts for three years on a minimal budget, growing the program by leaps and bounds. In 2016, some 11,000 teens participated in Summer of Reading. And in 2014, Jackamore led DPL’s Out of School Time Initiative to establish a budget to provide programming for school-aged children; the following year, services to teens and youth was determined to be a major focus for DPL. She also helped open three new branches in the DPL system, making sure that a dedicated Teen Space was included in the design.
“Cori has made an extraordinary impact on the youth of our community,” says City Librarian Michelle Jeske. “It’s true that one person can make a difference. That person is Cori Jackamore.”
Jackamore is quick to credit others for her successes.
“All of the people I have worked with over the years have made me look good,” she says. “I’m so fortunate I get to do the work I’m passionate about. It’s my calling.”
Read Aloud program
Helping Denver’s youngest learners develop a love of reading is a passion for Read Aloud coordinator Brianna Austin, who says she is honored to receive the recognition and also thanks the many people who make the program a success.
“Read Aloud works because of hundreds of people who read to thousands of kids on a weekly basis,” Austin says. “Bringing books into the lives of children by an adult who cares about them is what it’s all about.”
For nearly 30 years, the Denver Public Library has offered its Read Aloud program to Denver’s preschool-aged children who attend Early Childhood Education and Head Start programs. Read Aloud gives children the opportunity to experience the joy of reading, develop a love of books and learning and build social skills from the interactions with volunteers.
Austin says it’s fulfilling to think about a generation growing up who will feel empowered to read.
Leslie Harvey, principal of Sandra Todd-Williams Academy wrote in her nomination, “At Sandra Todd-Williams Academy, we strive to inspire happy, healthy, lifelong learners in our community. This program helps us to inspire learning by exposing students to fun, quality books.”
“Read Aloud is an amazing program,” adds City Librarian Michelle Jeske. “I am proud of what volunteers and DPL staff do to help kids learn to love to read.”
For 30 weeks during the school year, over 100 volunteers and more than 50 Denver Public Library staff members provide storytimes in 365 classrooms throughout the City and County of Denver. With an average of 17 children per classroom, the Read Aloud Program reaches over 6,000 students weekly.
The numbers are impressive, but what really counts is that kids are introduced to the extraordinary world of books and reading.
Submitted by: Sherry Spitsnaugle, Editor