West Town Public Library Summer Learning program celebrates with help of EVA


Gladys Anselmo (r) stands by a table of food donated by local businesses

With a record number of 500 area children participating in the Summer Learning Program, there was a great deal of celebrating at the end of season party in the Chicago Public Library's West Town Branch, 1625 W. Chicago Ave., thanks in part to the East Village Association (EVA). 


Caleb Nolan calls raffle numbers for prizes


Smiles were plentiful for those getting backpacks and a book to take home

"EVA gave prizes weekly from the beginning of the program on June second to the end on August second. Then we also coordinated donations for the party," explained Gladys Alcazar Anselmo who coordinated EVA's efforts. "We did a school supply drive and got other local businesses to participate." Participating businesses included West Town Bakery, Roots and Mariano's.


Crafts were not just for the kids

"We had 180 kids walk in to be part of the program, then we did outreach to other programs and groups in the area and in total we were up to at least 500," explained Children's Librarian Caleb Nolan. 


Hopscotch was so popular that the kids were making it more difficult by using blind folds

Each child was given a goal of reading 300 minutes and they kept a log. "Some would come in every day to tell us how much they read or what they had been doing. Others would come in like once a week," said Nolan. 


Sometimes kids know more than adults!


Who can resist Hello Kitty?

With 77 participants plus parents attending the party, it was evident that the program was a big hit. No one seemed bored with crafts, games and prizes happening throughout the room. In fact, many of the parents were having at least as much if not more fun coloring, reading books and even weaving a toy. 

"They are so excited about the backpacks, which are filled with school supplies, and being able to take home a book," Anselmo pointed out.



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