The Tuscarawas County Public Library System strives to be a partner with parents and caregivers in preparing preschoolers for kindergarten. From storytimes to a vast collection of picture books, the library places an emphasis on early literacy skills. Now, the County Library is offering Ready for School backpacks for families to check out.
“We are really excited to offer these backpacks,” said Children’s Services Manager Linda Uhler. “Play is a child’s work, and these backpacks are filled with educational toys that parents can enjoy with their preschooler to learn concepts that will help them get ready for kindergarten.”
The backpacks were made possible by a kind donation from the Friends of the Library – New Philadelphia and were purchased to honor board member Shirley Wagner who passed away last year.
“Mrs. Wagner was a beloved teacher with the New Philadelphia City Schools for 25 years, 17 of which were as a kindergarten teacher at East Elementary,” said Director Michelle McMorrow Ramsell. “Mrs. Wagner was my kindergarten teacher, and these backpacks are a wonderful way to commemorate her legacy in the classroom and in our library.”
Currently, there are five backpacks available to check out for two weeks. Each backpack is themed around a concept that children need to know to start kindergarten. The collection currently includes five backpacks with the following themes: all about me, counting, alphabet, colors, and sensory.
“We look forward to adding to the backpack collection in the future,” said Ramsell. “Anyone who would like to contribute and help grow the backpack collection is encouraged to make a donation to the Friends of the Library New Philadelphia and indicate that it is for the Shirley Wagner memorial.”
The Friends of the Library New Philadelphia is a 501c-3 that supports the library by assisting with projects, volunteering, holding fundraisers and events, and providing financial support for the library’s collections, materials, and services.
The Ready for School backpacks are housed at the County’s Main Library, 121 Fair Ave. NW New Philadelphia, but they may be placed on hold and picked up at the County’s Bolivar, Sugarcreek, Strasburg, and Tuscarawas branches. For further information about the backpacks, please call the Tuscarawas County Public Library’s children’s department at 330-364-4474.