Because of this recognition, the group will travel to the Galt House in Louisville to give a presentation workshop at the Great Kids Summit.
The youth program is comprised of middle and high school students who volunteer their time to learn job skills, become more effective members of their community, and read to pre-school children with their "Reading Buddies" program.
Edwards, director of youth services at the Logan County Public Library, says that the program gives the young people the opportunity to learn teamwork and promotes a confidence in the participants that they might otherwise not have. "The main focus is literacy," said Edwards.
While reading to young children through the "Reading Buddies" program, they are not only stimulating the minds of their pre-school audience, but also working on their own communication and reading skills.
"Some come in scared to death to read in front of an audience," said Edwards. With a six-week training session before beginning the "Reading Buddies" program, many of the young people find their fears dissolved. Reading aloud "promotes repetition and improves their focus. It also helps them work on being able to maintain eye contact during conversations," said Edwards.
Kentucky Child Now! is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to promote the healthy development of children and youth through innovative state and community strategies. Their initiatives integrate children's health and youth development; foster collaboration; create positive change and action on behalf of all children; and address the need to engage young people as partners and change agents.
The Great Kids Summit will be held in Louisville at the Galt House, July 13 - 15, 2005, and offers youth ages 13 - 24, health professionals, youth workers, state and local leaders, community groups and educators the opportunity to promote the health, safety and success of Kentucky's young people.
Edwards is excited about accompanying the group to Louisville. They will make their presentation as part of the Summit to a group of around 50 people. They also have the opportunity to network and learn about other organizations and skills that they may be able to bring home and put to use in the community.
The Logan County Library is a non-profit organization, so funding for the group's trip must come soley from organizations and individuals who wish to 'sponsor' the group. The amount of money they raise will affect how many kids can attend the Summit. Edwards wants the senior members of the LIT. to be able to attend, as some of them have worked in the organization for over two years.
"When one student asked if she'll be able to go I had to tell her, 'Honey, we're waiting on funds.' I hate having to say that to them. I don't want any of them to miss out due to funding," said Edwards.
And as she stated, since she was not shy, she began a campaign to let local businesses and individuals know that they needed help.
The Summit begins on July 13, and when asked about the deadline for contributions, Edwards laughed and said, "The 12th. I want as many to be able to go as possible."
To become a sponsor, call Monica Edwards at the Logan County Public Library at 270-726-6129 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.