>Funding will go toward Traveling Storyteller program

   The Jefferson County Library District's popular Traveling Storyteller program has received an $8,425 grant to continue spreading the love of reading.
   The grant comes from a Ready-to-Read grant program which was established by the 1993 Oregon Legislature, and is administered by the Oregon State Library. Approximately $1 per child is provided through the grant.
   Locally, the grant has been used to hire a Traveling Storyteller to go to child care facilities, Head Start programs, and kindergarten and first grade classrooms throughout the district.
   The grant funds are used to pay the Traveling Storyteller's salary and mileage and to purchase books and other necessary materials. Linda Nixon is currently the library's Traveling Storyteller.
   The Traveling Storyteller is an important part of Jefferson County Library's children's programming, reaching more children than any other single program. In November of this year alone, the Traveling Storyteller recorded a total attendance of 507 children.
   State Librarian Jim Scheppke noted that since the Ready-To-Read grant program began in 1993, library services to children have increased by 42 percent statewide.
   "This program is really contributing to Governor Kitzhaber's goal to have 90 percent of Oregon's children achieve the state reading standard by the end of third grade.
   The Ready-to-Read grand has been used across Oregon to purchase children's library materials, hire staff to provide library programs, bring library services and materials to at-risk children, and to provide children's computer equipment in libraries.
   The Ready-To-Read grant was established to assist local libraries in helping to achieve the Oregon Benchmarks for childhood learning and development.
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