Thursday October 12, 2006
Library, JCPS partnership provides education, transportation benefits to students
A partnership of the Louisville Free Public Library and Jefferson County Public Schools will expand educational opportunities for up to 97,000 area students, Mayor Jerry Abramson and school and library officials announced today.
Letters are going out this week informing parents of a new program that will make a special Library card available to every JCPS student. The card, called a “Student Power Plus” card will provide students access to the full resources of the public library system, including the online resources available through school, home and portable computers. The card also will provide students with TARC’s discounted 50-cent student fare.
“Library cards hold the key to educational success, and now we’re making sure all students have that key in their pockets,” Abramson said. “The more resources we can provide our students, the more gains we can make toward achieving our community’s Every1Reads goals.”
The Library will create a new, customized library card for the Student Power Plus program. JCPS will distribute the new cards, which will be individually imprinted with the student’s name. Parents who do not want their student to have the new student library card will be given the opportunity to opt out of the program.
“Reading is the most important skill we can develop in our students. Providing every JCPS student from preschool through grade 12 and every JCPS employee with a library card emphasizes our community’s commitment to literacy and building successful readers of all ages,” said JCPS Superintendent Stephen Daeschner.
Funding to create the customized student library cards is being provided by the Library Foundation. It is expected to cost $45,000 to produce and distribute the student cards.
“Our commitment to education goes way beyond the four walls of the library,” said Library Director Craig Buthod. “Besides homework support and good books for all ages, this card will give high school students free access to ACT and SAT practice tests.”
Abramson and Buthod said the partnership with JCPS is the first phase of the Student Power Plus card program. After implementing in the public schools, the Library will work with the Archdiocese of Louisville and other parochial and private and schools interested in the program.
The Student Power Plus cards also will include the JCPS “Kidtrax” ID code that helps the schools track student attendance and performance through automated bar-coding technology.
More than 80 partner organizations use the Kidtrax system, which provides community centers and other after-school programs access to information that can help support their efforts to assist students in areas such as reading and math. The Kidtrax system was started as a pilot program between the JCPS Community Schools program and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs.