Each day at the Frankford Public Library, children of varied ages come through the doors. When school lets out, the library is a safe space where kids land for a few hours. Some come to play, some for recreation, and to entertain themselves, and yet for others, the library is an access point for technology, learning, and homework resources.
For Rachel Wackett, Library Director at Frankford Public Library, opening her doors to students is the bedrock of her philosophy. She is intentional in welcoming students of all ages. She says, “Community responsibility is a state of mind, and by granting support to these students, we offer a piece of what we see as essential to communal success.”
Beginning as early as preschool, children are working on computer literacy through programs like ABC Mouse, available at Wackett’s library. They are gaining keyboard proficiency and working on a variety of concepts like shape, color, and reading skills. As children grow older, their technological needs become more advanced and the Frankford Public Library finds their 10 laptops and 14 desktop computers are frequently filled with students completing assignments that include everything from basic homework to audio/digital assignments, and even completing FAFSA applications for college bound high schoolers.
“Teachers assign on platforms like Schoology, which works with GoogleDocs, and there is a shift to online submissions in our districts. By offering, not only the computers, but the availability of staff members who were former educators, we can help level the playing field for students who need these services.” Wackett estimates that at least 25 percent of students in our district are without Internet access at home, which can lead to clear disparities in the classroom if not remedied.
Part of the anecdote is availability, and this is why Wackett is so passionate about creating a library environment that caters to the success of students. Whether a student needs reading material for a project, help with homework, or even a bilingual staff member to help with local immersion students, they are likely to find a wealth of knowledge housed at the Frankford Public Library.
“Some of the resources we provide are obvious,” Wackett says, “such as access to robotics, and reading materials. Others are more subtle.” For example, Wackett and her staff provide spaces for tutors to meet with students, and for homebound instructors to meet with their pupils. They also help fill nutritional gaps for students during both the holiday and summer breaks.
For the library and its staff, this is merely the foundation on which they want to build. Earlier this year, Wackett met with staff over at Indian River School District. “We are hoping to support curriculum in any ways we can.” Wackett is eager to partner with schools in an effort to continue supporting teachers, administration, and ultimately, the children in our community.
The Frankford Public Library is a modern library for an evolving educational landscape, and it is part of the essential infrastructure. One of the best ways to support your local library is to walk through the doors, so if you’ve been meaning to stop by, Wackett and her staff want to encourage you to come in and see what’s new. For more information please visit http://frankford.lib.de.us or call (302) 732-9351.
Cover – Reading Paws- Javier Wackett participates in a reading program to improve skills through reading to dogs.
Photo #1 – Darvi Lopez-Gil often uses the library after school for a variety of services.
Photo #2 – Homework Time- Vanessa Fabela and Brandon Campechano use the library to access technology for homework and other assignments.