Community service and fundraising event raises money for new community library

Published by , Author: Haley Potter - Rocket Contributor, Date: December 1, 2016

On Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., an event called Read-a-Thon took place in Bailey Library.  The Read-a-Thon was a joint community service and fundraising event between Bailey Library and the Slippery Rock Community Library (SRCL).  Readers came to the event with a $3 registration fee and donations that they raised before the event.  After turning in the money, they went to room 202 in Bailey Library to dive into a good book, and they could stay as long as they wanted.

Junior biology major and community service co-chair for the Honors Program, Grascen Shidemantle was in charge of Read-a-Thon. 

She said that students who read would receive community service hours through the Honors Program and the First Year Leader Scholar Program (FLSP) for their participation in the event.

“All of the funds raised today will go towards the construction of the new library,” Shidemantle said.  “SRCL currently has an anonymous donor from the community who has offered to match all funds raised for the construction of the library, so all the money that we raise today will be doubled.”

Freshman exercise science major and Slippery Rock local Tyler Ben was one of the participants.  He said he decided to take on the project of Read-a-Thon because the Slippery Rock community is very close to his heart.

“I think it is important that we as students give back to the Slippery Rock community as much as we can,” Ben said.  “Sometimes I feel a great disconnect between the students and the people who live in Slippery Rock, and I think that community service and volunteerism is a positive way to bridge that gap.”

Ben also mentioned that he thinks it is a great program because it is benefitting something other than just Bailey Library.

Freshman dance performance and choreography major Ashleigh Schuler was another participant in Read-a-Thon.

“I am happy to be participating in this event because it is for a good cause,” Schuler said.  “Libraries have always been a big part of my life growing up.”

According to Shidemantle, the new library will be located on Main Street right across from the university.  SRCL already offers many valuable services to the Slippery Rock community such as story time twice a week for younger children, along with a book club and a therapy dog program where kids get the chance to read to service dogs in order to boost their self-confidence in reading.  For these services to continue taking place, the library needs more space, hence the reason for the reconstruction of the library.  The library is currently only 283 square feet; with a bigger facility, all of the mentioned programs plus even more programs can be offered for the kids and the community.

Junior biology major and vice president of Study Abroad club and Pre-PA club Amber Davidson said she was excited for the event because the kids in the Slippery Rock community need a source to start their reading.

“It also brings the university and community together as one,” Davidson said.

Shidemantle said the Read-a-Thon raised $1,198.25 for the SRCL, and an anonymous donor will be matching that amount, making the total funds raised $2, 396.50.


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