Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Pulaski County Library offers PRIDE Club for all ages

Pulaski County Public Library PRIDE Club, PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award, February 2014

Participants in the March 2014 meeting of the Pulaski County Public Library PRIDE Club meeting joined the library staff to accept the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award. Library staff members are Vicki Lovins (far left), Carol Sexton (center) and Allison Higgins (far right).

Children of all ages are invited to explore nature and stewardship during monthly meetings of the Pulaski County Public Library PRIDE Club. Membership is not required because this club is open to everyone.

During the March 20th PRIDE Club meeting, there was a surprise presentation to the library staff of the PRIDE Environmental Education Project of the Month Award.

“This is the only library-sponsored PRIDE Club in our 42 county region, and it definitely deserves this award that honors creative, effective ways to promote environmental awareness,” said Jennifer Johnson of PRIDE, a nonprofit organization that supports environmental education across southern and eastern Kentucky.

“PRIDE Clubs are usually in schools and often target specific grades,” Johnson explained. “The library’s PRIDE Club reaches a wide variety of children, even those not yet in school, and their parents often are learning with them.”

“Not only is this program unique, but it is also excellent,” Johnson added. “Carol Sexton and her staff are so creative and intentional about teaching. Their projects are fun and educational at the same time. Children enjoy themselves while learning an environmental lesson.”

“We thank Ms. Carol and the library staff for including PRIDE in their exceptional line up of children’s programming,” Johnson said. “Beth Wilson, the Pulaski County Horticulture Agent, helped start the PRIDE Club, and she still gives her guidance, so we want to thank her, too.”

“We can all take better care of our environment when we know more,” said Sexton, who is the Children’s Services Librarian. “We are an informal learning environment. In the library setting and in the children’s garden, children of all ages and stages can learn, explore and become educated about our environment and all of its inhabitants flora and fauna. A special emphasis is placed on native plants of Kentucky.”

This is the club’s mission statement: “PRIDE Clubs members agree to educate themselves and their peers in the importance of clean air, water and land and to help raise awareness about the environment and each individual’s responsibility toward the environment.”

The club’s hands-on projects over the years have included: recycling CDs into crafts, painting light switch covers with reminders to turn off lights when leaving the room, making pinecone bird feeders and making trail signs. The library invites all children to enter the annual, region-wide PRIDE Club Contest to design a T-shirt that conveys the message of personal responsibility for the environment.

The club plays an important role in the annual PRIDE Clean Sweep of US 27, which will be held April 22 this year. The club is represented by volunteers of all ages — children, parents and library staff — picking up litter in a safe area.

The library began offering its PRIDE Club after receiving its first PRIDE Environmental Education Grant in Fall 2010. The library invests its PRIDE funds in its Children’s Botanical Garden, PRIDE Club materials and nature-themed books. The library operates its PRIDE Club year-round and between PRIDE funding cycles.

The library invites the public to an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The PRIDE Club meetings are held after school on the third Thursday of each month. For details, visit the library, call 679-8401 or go to http://www.pulaskipubliclibrary.org/.

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