The Mason County Library System has been chosen to partner with West Virginia Public Broadcasting in Charleston for the “Inquire Within” program.
“Inquire Within” is an initiative that links libraries with PBS to educate, entertain, and inspire young children. Through the program, all three county libraries – Point Pleasant, Mason and New Haven – will have access to PBS Kids programming and educational resources, and receive free materials. PBS Kids is home to shows such as Super Why, Arthur, Sesame Street, Curious George and more.
Mason County Library Director Pam Thompson said she was contacted by Kelly Griffith, PBS education specialist, that the county was one of two chosen for the program through the sponsorship of Mylan. Also chosen was Boone County.
Thompson said as an “Inquire Within” recipient, the local libraries will receive a large wooden cabinet on rollers containing games, puzzles, and other items based on the children’s programming. The cabinet will be located at the Point Pleasant library, but the items within will be shared among all three locations.
Also as a part of the grant, Thompson said the library system will receive 10 computer tablets, with educational games already installed. Four of the tablets will be stationed in Point Pleasant, and three each at New Haven and Mason.
The final grant offering will be four large binders with S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for each cartoon and program featured on PBS Kids. Thompson said she estimates the total grant package at approximately $5,000.
The only stipulation for receiving the grant and taking advantage of the program is a promise to hold four events over the next year, as well as promote a young writers contest. Flyers will be given out to the parents at each of the events, matching the PBS Kids cartoon that meets that particular S.T.E.M. activity. The television station will provide small tokens, such as stickers, pencils and erasers to be given to the youngsters.
Thompson said the library system’s first event will be a back-to-school kick off. Other activities planned with the computer tablets will be camera scavenger hunts using shapes, as well as computer coding.
Thompson added when activities such as these are planned, all 10 tablets will be taken to the participating library. She added the materials will give the library staff additional ideas for the events held for school-age children when school has early dismissal Fridays.
Only 11 counties in the state have been chosen to participate in “Inquire Within,” Thompson concluded. She said all materials associated with the program should be received locally by the first of August.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.