Summer Success with AmeriCorps

This summer, the library youth services department was lucky enough to have not one, not two, but THREE AmeriCorps members to help with community outreach efforts! Meet Sarah Russo, Shaneen Upal, and Calasandra Spray.

Sarah is from Albany, New York, and has a Library Science Degree. Calasandra attends college locally at Loras with a double major in creative writing and literature. Shaneen’s family recently moved to Dubuque, but she attends college in California, where she will return this fall as a sophomore. 

Their main objective as AmeriCorps Early Literacy Specialists was to do literacy outreach in the community. They did this by providing storytime programs for day cares, preschools, and youth organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and St. Mark’s. Youth Enrichment.

Sarah noted that storytime is a holistic program. “It’s not just books, but also songs, finger plays, and sometimes games,” she said. “And all that stuff gets kids more ready for school and encourages reading.”

Luckily, their outreach efforts weren’t hampered much by Covid-19 restrictions. Over the course of the summer, these AmeriCorps members safely provided 147 storytime programs to 2,079 children at 12 different locations!

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