EASTERN SHORE PUBLIC LIBRARY RECOGNIZED FOR PARTICIPATION IN SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM
Photo above: Eastern Shore children enjoy a healthy meal after a fun Summer Reading Program. The library was recently recognized for its participation in the 2018 USDA Summer Food Program.
ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA (January 3, 2019) – Virginia USDA Rural Development recently recognized the Eastern Shore Public Library for participating in the Summer Food Program (SFSP) during the summer of 2018 with a Certificate of Appreciation. The library received a letter signed by Elizabeth W. Green, State Director, Rural Development, United States Department of Agriculture and Dr. Sandy Curwood, PhD, RDN, Director, Office of School Nutrition Programs, Virginia Department of Education, which acknowledged the library’s generosity and initiative in helping Virginia move “one step closer to ending childhood hunger throughout the Commonwealth.”
The letter further stated that summer is a vital time for children’s growth and well-being. On average, only 15% of Virginia children who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches are also getting free meals in the summer through the Summer Meals Program. With the continued support and dedication of community organizations like the public library, the shared goal is to increase that number to 100%.
By hosting a free summer meal site and providing a local and convenient location for children to easily access food resources without the need for major transportation, Eastern Shore Public Library decreased the burden of hunger and helped the kids in the community reach their full potential. Virginia USDA Rural Development is astoundingly grateful for the Library’s leap of faith and unwavering dedication to the youth that reside in their Eastern Shore community.
During the summer of 2018, Eastern Shore Public Library served a total of 434 meals over an eight-week period. Meals were provided two days per week at the library in Accomac and another two days a week at the Nassawadox library location. According to Youth Services Librarian, Janice Felker, lunches were served on twice as many days in 2018 as in 2017 when the library first began the program, and the total number of meals served was over 250% of the total count in 2017. “We hope this program continues to increase its outreach and provide even more of our Eastern Shore youth with access to healthy meals in a safe and friendly environment. By partnering with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and Accomack County Parks and Recreation department to participate in the SFSP, Eastern Shore Public Library helped children on the Shore to have all the brain power they needed to learn and read over the summer and then succeed during the school year.”
Eastern Shore Public Library plans to host the meal program again in the summer of 2019. For more information about the library’s Youth Services programs and a calendar of upcoming events, visitwww.espl.org.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EASTERN SHORE PUBLIC LIBRARY WAIVES FINES FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
(Accomac, Virginia) January 17, 2019 – Eastern Shore Public Library will waive fines for federal and federal contract employees affected by the government shutdown and their dependents. Affected employees need only provide documentation of their situation and employment. For more information, contact the Accomac library at (757) 787-3400 and ask for the circulation manager.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HISTORIC CREPE MYRTLE PROJECT LIVES ON AT NEW REGIONAL LIBRARY
Photo Above: Cara Burton, Library Director (left) and Jeannette Edwards, Soroptimist Officer (right). Second photo: Crepe Myrtles line the Shore’s Route 13, a historic highway beautification project.
(ACCOMACK, VIRGINIA) January 9, 2019 – Cara Burton, Eastern Shore Public Library Library Director, recently presented the Soroptimist Club of Accomack County a progress report and update regarding our new Regional Library. Burton focused on the planned Eastern Shore Heritage Center, previously the “Eastern Shore Room,” and how the new facility will better serve Accomack and Northampton Counties with advanced technology, community involvement serving all ages, and preserving our Heritage. At the conclusion of her presentation, the Club was pleased to present the Library with a $1,000 donation.
In 1929, the Town and Country Garden Group, the garden club associated with the Woman’s Club of Accomack County, financed the planting of 442 crepe myrtles, at a cost of forty cents apiece, along highway Route 13. Over time, they planted about 700 crepe myrtles from Cape Charles to Exmore. Not since that era had any crepe myrtles been planted until 1987, when the late Rachel B. Hall of the Soroptimist Club, proposed forming a committee to beautify the Eastern Shore. She, and Co-Chair, the late Sue Poulson Chesser, wanted to continue the venture started by the Woman’s Club by planting crepe myrtles from Exmore to the Maryland state line.
Shortly after the formation of the Committee, Mrs. Hall passed away, and the Rachel B. Hall Memorial Crepe Myrtle Project was born with Sue Poulson Chesser carrying forward Mrs. Hall’s dream of crepe myrtles along Route 13. In 1988 she coordinated with local tree nurseries and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to plant 250 bushes, which up until the last several years, they had been planting bushes ever since. In 1988, under Sue and her Committee’s work, the Club won the “Keep Va. Beautiful Distinguished Service Award”, in 1999 the Club received a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the State Beautification Program, and in 2001 won a “Gold Leaf Award”.
As of 2008, the Soroptimists had planted more than 4,500 crepe myrtles that line both sides of Route 13 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. VDOT budget constraints and inability to plant and maintain new bushes called a halt to the project. In 2014, the Soroptomists ceased the Rachel B. Hall Memorial Crepe Myrtle Project when the committee chair Sue Poulson Chesser passed away. Funds designated for the project are being reallocated for other community beautification projects. In 2017, Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital received $15,000 for the creation of the Sue Poulson Chesser Memorial Garden. The donation to ESPL will support planting of crepe myrtles at the new library location in Parksley, opening in 2020.
For more information about the library’s building project, visit www.shorelibrary.com.
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