ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Igniting a passion for reading and learning, some Rockford Public School District (RPS) 205 students could get a free library card.
The program is aimed at underprivileged students who are not in the library’s service area. The Rockford Public Library said that this program could unlock endless learning opportunities for students.
“My kids ask to come to the library almost every day,” said local resident Erin Stock.
Stock and her family visit the Rockford Public Library regularly.
“I feel like libraries are just so important, reading is so important for kids, and I, again, think it’s awesome that RPS is joining with the library to do this because we want more people to come and utilize it,” Stock said.
More kids will soon have access to the wide array of books, movies and classes.
“I know that when the entire community has access to the services that we provide and begin using them, we will be able to [raise] the level of education in this entire community as a whole,” said Bridget Finn, marketing director for the Rockford Public Library. “So, that’s really important to us at the library, that’s what we’re always striving to do.”
“Illinois Cards for Kids” allows low-income RPS students to obtain a Rockford Library card free of charge. This is for those who live outside of the library’s district, such as unincorporated sections of the city or county.
“So, we don’t want to shortchange any of our public school students who might live outside a service area because they can’t afford to come in and get a card,” Finn said.
It is another way for local families to take advantage of all that is available at the Rockford Public Library.
“I read to my daughters every night and they look forward to it actually every night still, and I think it’s really awesome, and to come to the library and to have so many books at your disposal,” Stock said. “There’s so many resources here that I don’t think a lot of people know about, especially online resources.”
To participate in this program, any RPS 205 student 5-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, who must provide photo identification with current address, proof of income, verification of child attending RPS 205 school, and a signed copy of the Free Student Certification form, which can be obtained from library staff.