The Marshalltown Public Library is going up against libraries across the United States for a chance to win a $5,000 prize, and it needs your help.
The LEGO DUPLO company and the Association for Library Services to Children have recently partnered up with a "Read! Build! Play!" campaign that awards the library with the most votes, Sarah Rosenblum, Marshalltown Public Library director, said.
"We know that play is a real intricate part of how kids learn," she said. "It's about getting kids interested playing as well as learning.
T-R PHOTO BY LUKE STALZER
Ranger Reed and his sister, Isla, play with a toy at the Marshalltown Public Library on Wednesday while picking out some books which is what the “Read! Build! Play!” campaign encourages — reading, but also incorporating play time. The library is currently one of many libraries across the United States eligible for a $5,000 award from the LEGO DUPLO company for children’s materials. To vote for the library, go to www.readbuildplay.com and choose the state and city category.
According to the campaign's website, kids need to read to develop early literacy skills, build to accelerate learning and play to foster more active minds, which is why the two companies came together, and Rosenblum said that's why Marshalltown would be a great recipient of the $5,000.
"It's just another tool to support our endeavor of improving that third grade literacy level," she said. "That's a big push right now in our community and in the state."
So far, over 7,000 votes have been cast and Downers Grove Public Library in Downers Grove, Ill. is leading the way, but Rosenblum said she believes the community of Marshalltown can step up to the plate.
"I know this community, and we can do it," she said.
Rosenblum said this campaign is great because not only do kids need to know the importance of reading, but "play" is a really important part of a child's life.
"Books are important, but kids need to play," she said.
According to the website, although only one $5,000 prize will be handed out, the top 200 libraries with the most votes will receive a toolkit with cutting edge early literacy programming that combines preschool books with a collection of LEGO blocks.
To vote for Marshalltown Public Library, you can go to www.readbuildplay.com and choose your state and city. Rosenblum said she would appreciate the support.
"This is about our next generation, and we would really appreciate it if people could spread the word," she said.