LITERACY AND EDUCATION
Engaging children, adults, and families in the joy of reading.
Summer Learning Challenge
Our donors make it possible for interactive learning activities and artistic touring performances to happen all summer long at your local library as well as through virtual programming. These programs help keep children mentally active during their break from school, and also include activities designed for teenagers, adults, and families.
Each year, we secure financial support for the library system’s annual PLS Reads event. PLS Reads engages large audiences in celebrating literature and encourages new visitors into the library. Featuring a different novel each year, Pioneer hosts book discussions and thematic programming at all 12 libraries that typically culminate with a concluding event featuring the book’s author.
Children’s Literacy Programs
The Book Backpack Program distributes thousands of books to children across Cleveland, McClain, and Pottawatomie counties. For some children, these are the only books they own. Growing Like a Read encourages parents and small children (birth to age four) to read together. This one-on-one interaction improves early literacy skills – helping children enter school ready to learn and to keep pace with their peers.
Preparing the community for long and healthy lives.
ODL HEALTH LITERACY GRANTS
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) supports health literacy programs across all three counties. As a result, thousands of people each year participate in nutrition and fitness classes, health fairs, and more – all offered free of charge to the public.
PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
Infants and young children visiting the Pottawatomie County Health Department can receive free books thanks to a grant from the Avedis Foundation. Featuring bright colors and appealing characters, the books help children develop healthy habits and hygiene. Recognizing that many families visiting the health department for well-baby visits and check-ups cannot afford books, Pioneer libraries in Shawnee, McLoud, and Tecumseh partnered to help these children gain access to books and prepare to start school successfully. This program won the Oklahoma Public Health Association (OPHA) Public Health Program of the Year award.
Educating the community about visual arts, literature, and music.
Our donors inspire creative expression by helping others learn about the arts. Thanks to the Norman Arts Council and other donors, community members can experience art first hand at events such as Jazz in June at Norman Public Library West. Throughout the library system, Pioneer also hosts photography contests, writing classes, and a variety of painting and drawing programs.
COMMUNITY INITIATIVES AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
The Foundation helps branch managers meet their community’s unique programming needs. For the fiscal year 2022-23, the Foundation provided support in a variety of ways:
- Blanchard – Exploring Art
- McLoud – Science Museum Oklahoma
- Moore – Citizenship Center Revitalization
- Newcastle – Full STEAM Ahead
- Noble – Macro & Fisheye Lenses for Learning
- Norman Central – Sound Lab Upgrade
- Norman West – Tai Chi at the Library
- Purcell – ESL & Citizenship Programs
- Shawnee – STEAM Extreme
- South OKC – Experience Center Expansion Pack
- Tecumseh – Children’s Outreach Programs