One of 12 programs in the country honored at the White House
The Pearl Bailey Library’s Youth Program, run by Demetria Tucker (MSLS '78) alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and senior family and youth services librarian at Pearl Bailey Library, was recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama as a winner of the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. The award is the highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities.
Tucker and Nasir Curry, president of the Teen Advisory Committee for Pearl Bailey Library, received the award at the White House ceremony on Friday, November 22, 2013 from the First Lady. The ceremony was videotaped and is available here.
Pearl Bailey’s Youth Program is one of 12 such programs from across the country that was selected to receive this award from a pool of more than 350 nominations and 50 finalists. The award honors exemplary after-school and out-of-school time programs that generate positive youth outcomes. Pearl Bailey Library’s Youth Program is designed to expand knowledge of literature and engage youth as stakeholders in their library.
“It is an honor to be recognized nationally for our youth serving programs,” said Mayor McKinley L. Price. “Pearl Bailey Library’s Youth Program exemplifies our commitment to ensuring that young people have the resources and support that they need to be successful in life. Pearl Bailey Library is a positive force in our community and has certainly impacted the lives of many of our citizens. This program shows that libraries are more than just books.”
“The work libraries do with youth is one of the most important,” said Izabela Cieszynski, director of the Newport News Public Library System. “Youth represent our future, and our mission is to help ensure that they have the tools they need for academic, financial and personal success, thus enabling a successful community.”
The Pearl Bailey Library Youth Program offers a variety of programs designed to expand knowledge of literature and encourages participants to read for pleasure and personal interest. The activities include a summer reading program, book club discussions and a student-led Teen Advisory Committee and For Kids Only Club, both of which allow them to assist librarians with book selections and additional program development. The participants ultimately become stakeholders in the library system by playing an active role in the books that are purchased by the library for other kids in their community to read.
In addition to recognition at the White House, the Pearl Bailey Library Youth Program will receive $10,000 and a year of communications and capacity-building support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.
About the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards
National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Awards is an initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The President’s Committee partners with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to administer the program.
Photo of First Lady Michelle Obama, Nasir Curry and Demetria Tucker courtesy of the White House.