Rainbow Childcare opens Parent Lending Library

Posted on August 8, 2012 in News & Events

Rainbow Childcare opens Parent Lending Library

Rainbow Child Care Center in Slidell recently was abuzz with activity as it celebrated the first anniversary of the Rainbow Reads program with the opening of its new Parent Lending Library.

Volunteers with the New Orleans Hornets and United Way of Southeast Louisiana and St. Tammany were in each of the center’s seven classrooms to read to the children, play games on the playground and accompany them to pick out a book of their own inside the Hornet’s Buzzin’ for Books van.

While the children were enjoying their many visitors, including the Hornets’ mascot, Hugo, another group of volunteers were putting the finishing touches on the more than 400 titles to be made available to Rainbow parents through the new library.

Carol Gstohl, vice president of human resources for United Way, said they put cards and folders in the books to prepare them for checkout. Although she wasn’t in the mix with the children, she said, “I can tell the kids are having a ball.”

The new lending library will encourage parents to read books to their children by making shelves filled with attractive titles available at the entrance to the center, said Dionne Graham, executive director of East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care Center.

Julie Borsch, Community Investment Development Executive with the Hornets, said volunteers from staff to season ticket holders get involved in the community through its Community Assist Team. They participate in two activities per month, and this was their first time at Rainbow Child Care Center.

She said the center’s Rainbow Reads program was a good fit with the Hornets organization. They helped organize outdoor activities at Rainbow Child Care that included hoop shoots and races.

The Hornets promote physical fitness and encourage children to live healthy, active lifestyles, while rewarding them with the gift of books, courtesy of the Hornets Bookmobile presented by Shell.

“We’re having a wonderful day for literacy,” Borsch said.

Shelly Cayette, director of Community Investment said, “We’re community partners with United Way and encourage love of reading for kids. When they told us about Rainbow,” she said they had to be part of the program.

Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan and members of the Rainbow Child Care board were on hand for the official ribbon-cutting for the new library. But one supporter that Graham was particularly proud to have at the event was Kimberly Savoy.

As a child, Savoy attended Rainbow Child Care and still returns as part of its story time reading program. She regularly donates books and other needed supplies to the center, Graham said.

Savoy recently graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in education.

“From what I see today, it’s great. The emphasis on reading will be an important foundation,” for the children, Savoy said.

ARTICLE CREDIT: Sharon Edwards can be reached at sedwards@timespicayune.com or 985.645.2856.