‘¡Dia de los Niños, Libros!’ at Fort library – Daily Union

To celebrate the expansion of its Spanish materials collection, the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson is hosting a special event Saturday, May 6.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the pub­lic is event to recognize “¡Dia de los Niños!/¡Dia de los Libros!” (Children’s Day/Book Day), a national initiative that strives to celebrate cultural diversity and connect families to free community resources.

In Fort Atkinson, the outreach to such resources will include an expanded collection of Spanish and bilingual materials at the library.

Expansion of the collection, intended to grow the community’s outreach to its Hispanic population, was made possible by the 2016-17 Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce Project LEAD class.

Through meetings with the library staff, the School District of Fort Atkinson, the Jefferson County Literacy Council and Spanish-speaking residents, members of the leadership class decided to meet the need for improved literacy while supporting the library’s strategic plan to expand its outreach to the Hispanic community.

The group reached its preliminary fundraising goal of $3,000, which allowed the library to acquire approximately 250 items that include Spanish language and bilingual books, audiobooks, movies and periodicals.

“¡Dia de los Niños!/¡Dia de los Libros!” will include face painting, a kids’ craft, bilingual storytime, library tours, a nacho bar and Latino music, as well as an opportunity to view and interact with the newly expanded collection.

As some materials still are being processed, it is possible not everything will be able to be checked out Saturday.

There is no charge for the event.

Also on Saturday is the first Fort Atkinson Farmers Market of the 2017 season. Market-goers are encouraged to stop at the library and take in the festivities.

Donations continue to be accepted for the library project. Any additional funds will be utilized to care for the collection, as well as for further outreach to the bilingual community.

Contributions are tax-deductible and welcome in any amount, and can be made online to the Project LEAD fund on the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation website ht­p://fortfoundation.org/. Click the “Donate now” button and follow the link to donate to Project LEAD.

Persons wishing to send checks should write them to Project LEAD, Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, 44 N. Main St., Fort Atkinson, WI, 53538.

Project LEAD — an acronym for Leadership Enhancement for Area Development — is a nine-month community leadership-development program that is sponsored by the chamber. Its goal is to introduce participants to the inner working of the city and business community while developing leadership and teamwork skills.

Through a series of monthly training sessions, Project LEAD emphasizes leadership concepts and focuses on the needs of the community. It strives to develop an awareness and understanding of the resources, processes, problems and issues that affect the Fort Atkinson area.

Members of Project LEAD 2016-17 class are: Alyssa Hensiak, of Wisconsin Packaging Corp; Luke Steffen, Wisconsin In­door Advertising; Mariah Hadler, Jones Market; Steven Bielefeldt, PremierBank; Meg­han Bernath, Fort Community Credit Union; Kelly TerKeurst, Dwight Foster Public Library; Mike Helers, mkCellular; Becky Brasch, Terra Staffing Services; Keith Marsden, Digi-Star LLC; Mary Rinden, Goyer Ace Hardware; Brooke Marriott, Cloute Inc.; Hannah Bare, Spacesaver Corp.; Lisa Koch, Bender, Kind & Stafford DDS; Greg Dempsey and Carl Selvick, both of Fort HealthCare.

Additional details can be found on the Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce website, www.fortchamber.com, and the Dwight Foster Public Library website at www.fortlib­rary.com.

Event details will be available on the chamber and library’s Facebook pages, as well.

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