Ralston Library

Learning a new language can be challenging, but Baright Public Library is helping its patrons learn English with a new resource addition.

After a donation of $1,185 was made in memory of Jo Gilreath, a longtime fourth-grade teacher at Minne Lusa Elementary School and Ralston resident, the library used the funds to purchase literacy kits.

The kits are for anyone who is trying to expand their English or even start learning from the beginning.

Linda Miles, library associate, teaches one-on-one English sessions at the library and believes these kits will help aid those who are learning.

“This is a good opportunity given to us so that we do something we haven’t been able to do,” Miles said.

There are four kits, each a different level.

The first kit, beginner level one, is equipped with a basic picture dictionary and children’s books such as “Green Eggs & Ham” by Dr. Suess, “Curious George Learns the Alphabet” by H. A. Rey and Margret Rey.

However, the beginner one bag isn’t necessary for children.

Though there are children’s books, Miles said, they are useful for all ages when it comes to building vocabulary.

The beginner level two has more challenging books such as “Charlotte’s Web” by E. B. White and “How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?” by Jane Yolen.

The next level is intermediate which has longer novels including “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt and “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo.

The final kit is a family bag and while there are more challenging reads in there, Miles said she encourages families to work through it together. In this kit, there is a National Geographic United States atlas and books geared toward families including “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch.

“There’s something in the bag for everyone,” Miles said.

When it comes to her students, Miles said she always encourages them to read to their children or have their children read to them.

“We have an incredible children’s book collection and if they use those, they can practice their English reading,” she said.

Though they are different, each kit shares the same type of material including books that are accompanied by a CD so users can listen as they read, a launchpad equipped with a variety of learning activities and dictionaries to build vocabulary.

They even have books that teach them about the state.

“We try to get something on Nebraska or on the United States,” Miles said. “We tried to pick books that were educational as well as fun.”

Literacy kits are treated like books, each can be checked out for about four weeks at a time.

The literacy kits are currently available for patrons to check out.

“I’m excited to get them out,” Miles said. “It’s a real blessing for sure. We can hopefully fill a need.”

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