NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: FEBRUARY 5, 2013


Children in Burke County who are deaf or hard of hearing soon will have access to resources to increase literacy thanks to a grant from the American Library Association and Candlewood Press. Receipt of the $5,000 grant is the result of a partnership between Burke County Public Schools, the Burke County Public Library and the North Carolina School for the Deaf at Morganton.

Staff with the Burke County Public Library will use the funds to organize weekly story times at the Morganton and Valdese Public Libraries and facilitate the checking out of books and other materials. The funds also will be used to help the adult deaf and hard of hearing population and caregivers of deaf and hard of hearing individuals by providing information on academic achievement, social development, read-aloud strategies and literature selections for their children. Programs will be offered monthly and interpreters will be in attendance.

Burke County Public Library Assistant Director Betty Riley, who wrote the grant proposal, is excited about the opportunities the grant provides. "Our libraries are here for everyone's use and enjoyment. This grant will help us better serve those adults and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing and show them that the library is there to help support their reading needs too."

North Carolina Superintendent of Educational Services for the Deaf and Blind Barbria Bacon said the grant exemplifies the school's vision and mission to integrate their students into the community. "Having community services accessible to our students is a win-win situation for every child in Burke County. The grant also shows the wonderful things that can be gained from partnerships."

Burke County Schools' Exceptional Children Director Debbie Kendall was thrilled to hear that the library received the grant. "We are excited to have a public agency such as our library wanting to meet the needs of the deaf and hard of hearing populations. This grant will have a lasting positive impact on our community and we are elated to be a partner in the effort."

Over the next several months, Burke County Public Library staff will be ordering books for the story times and planning the various parent education components of the program. Story times will begin in June and continue over the next year.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.