Friday, May 30, 2014

The Cook Library Scholars Celebrate a Year of Abundant Success

May 29 was a significant and memorable day in Roosevelt Park for our Cook Library Scholars. The birds were chirping, the trees waved gently in the breeze, the sun was shining, and many neighbors were outdoors. After a year of hard work and perseverance that the program’s staff, volunteers, families, and scholars displayed, they could finally kick back and rejoice in all of their triumphs with their new Cook Library Scholars family. Families enjoyed a delicious potluck picnic, complete with a dessert of cake, cupcakes, and ice cream. 

“Certificates of Participation” were awarded to the parents who came to workshops and active in parent enrichment activities. Scholars also received awards such as “Wise Guy,” “Always Cheerful,” and “Future World Changer,” “Mr. Imagination,” “Endless Optimist,” “Expert Reader,” and “Everybody’s Buddy.” There is such great camaraderie among the scholars, that when awards were being called, they were able to accurately guess who would receive it. 

There were also two raffle opportunities. The first, for an iPod Shuffle, was to encourage reading. For every twenty-five books read, a scholar could place one ticket into the drawing box. The second raffle, which was for a bicycle donated by The Motion Initiative, was awarded to those students who succeeded in the Multiplication Challenge, where they were required to memorize multiplication facts. Essentially, the more successes a scholar had throughout the year, the more tickets they could place into the jar. 

There was also an array of outdoor games, including the water balloon toss, face painting, a beanbag toss, sack races, and even tug of war. These were all thoughtfully arranged by the Cook Library Staff, and were extremely popular with the scholars.

As the festivities commenced, the scholars displayed deep gratitude and sincere joy to be with the people who were there with them every step of the way. The beaming smiles on their faces, their unity with one another, and their high spirits made it clear that the time spent in the program has made a tremendous impact on each and every one of them.

All in all, it is safe to say that these students who were found rejoicing in Roosevelt Park truly have a great reason to do so. Not only are these fantastic kids working very hard to ensure a future for themselves, but they have a state-of-the-art team of leaders, collaborators, interns, volunteers, donors, foundations, and friends that are right alongside of them to help them along the way. If only every child in the world had such a reason to celebrate.

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