Category: News

Party in a Box, Courtesy of the Bruce Boosters

By Olivia Hanson, ReporterBy Olivia Hanson, Reporter
The Bruce Boosters 4-H club has recently made birthday boxes to give to those in need. Each box contained everything a family will need to throw the perfect birthday party for their loved ones – party hats, balloons, banner, plates, napkins, cake mix, candles, frosting and sprinkles. The 24 boxes will be distributed to food banks in La Porte City, Traer, and Vinton; and The Ronald McDonald House in Iowa City.

LPC Lions, Hawkins Library: Lending Books with Little Free Libraries

Take a book. Return a book. It’s a simple concept that the La Porte City Lions Club has brought to local neighborhoods in La Porte City and beyond with the help of Hawkins Memorial Library. Last week, the Lions Club put the finishing touches on the installation of eight Little Free Libraries, seven in neighborhoods throughout La Porte City and an eighth at Hickory Hills Park. The group hopes to add another at McFarlane Park, once it has been constructed.
Little Free Libraries operate on the simple premise of take a book, return a book. While they come in many different shapes and sizes, anyone in the community can participate in this free book exchange. Each little library has its own unique, personal touch, as people are encouraged to share their favorite books with others in the community. If you take a book, you do not have to return that exact same book. Little Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.
The Little Free Library movement dates back to 2009 when Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin built a model of a small, one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, who was a teacher that loved to read. He filled the small schoolhouse with books and placed it on a post in his front yard. The enthusiastic feedback he received from friends and neighbors encouraged him to build and give away several more.
Working with Rick Brooks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the concept of Little Free Libraries was inspired by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who set a goal to fund the creation of 2,508 free public libraries across the English-speaking world by the year 1900. Likewise, Bol and Brooks had hoped to install 2,508 Little Free Libraries by the end of 2013, a goal they surpassed 16 months early in August 2012. Today, there are more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries throughout the world.
The La Porte City Lions have long been strong advocates for reading, sponsoring quarterly drawings at La Porte City Elementary School where students can win $20. The more books they read, the greater chance they have of winning. A year ago, the Lions approached the City Council to propose the installation of several Little Free Libraries throughout the community. After receiving the Council’s support and the commitment from Hawkins Memorial Library Director Jolene Kronschnabel to help stock them, work began on the construction of several little libraries, which must be stout enough to stand up to the extremes of Iowa weather. The project’s completion came just in time for the summer season.
Now that the libraries are installed, the Lions are in the process of registering them. Once the official charter has been received, the La Porte City little library locations can be added to the world map readers can search online at littlefreelibrary.org.
So take a book, return a book or donate a book. Thanks to the collaborative public service project sponsored by the La Porte City Lions Club and Hawkins Memorial Library, there’s a Little Free Library near you in the La Porte City community.
As a community effort, the Lions Club and Hawkins Memorial Library remind area residents their help is needed to preserve and maintain the local Little Free Libraries. Sadly, one library was vandalized just days after its installation. Anyone witnessing the damage or destruction of these community libraries is asked to notify the La Porte City Police Department.

Country School Days at Dysart Historical Center

 The Dysart Historical Society is inviting area students who will enter fourth or fifth grade this coming fall to enjoy “An 1890’s Country School Day.”  Students may choose either July 6th or July 11th to spend a typical 1890’s school day at the Historical Center’s restored Tama County rural school at 612 Crisman Street. The building is air conditioned in case the weather is hot. A morning snack and noon lunch will be provided. The Dysart Historical Society is inviting area students who will enter fourth or fifth grade this coming fall to enjoy “An 1890’s Country School Day.”  Students may choose either July 6th or July 11th to spend a typical 1890’s school day at the Historical Center’s restored Tama County rural school at 612 Crisman Street. The building is air conditioned in case the weather is hot. A morning snack and noon lunch will be provided. Theme for both days will be “West on the Orphan Train” with lessons and activities centered around Iowa’s Orphan Train history.   Students will participate in the activities and games which students enjoyed in rural schools in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.  Boys will have old fashioned vests and hats to wear during the day, while girls will each have an apron and a sun bonnet.  The teacher for each school day will be Cara Hach who is an elementary education major at Iowa State University. The school day will be from 9 AM to 3 PM.  Cost for the day is $12 which covers food and all materials, such as art supplies and books.  Attendance is limited to twelve students each day, first come first served, and reservations should be made by June 26th. Reservations may  be made with Ann Anniss at 319-476-3557, Catharine Wieck at 319-476-7345, Susan Fuchs at 319-476-2249, or Debi Miller at 319-476-5715.

For the Love of Marimba: Free Concert at High School

   In 2014 marimba soloist Matthew Coley began the Heartland Marimba Festival to celebrate the marimba, its history, and its performers and music. Each year the Festival has grown and in 2017 it now encompasses the Heartland Marimba Collective, a summer touring group of professionals/apprentices performing in eleven cities across the heartland. Artists Matthew Coley, Scott Eiklenborg, Jaime Esposito, and Bridget Olenik will take the stage at 7 PM on Wednesday, June 21 in the Union High School auditorium and present a free concert for the public’s enjoyment.   In 2014 marimba soloist Matthew Coley began the Heartland Marimba Festival to celebrate the marimba, its history, and its performers and music. Each year the Festival has grown and in 2017 it now encompasses the Heartland Marimba Collective, a summer touring group of professionals/apprentices performing in eleven cities across the heartland. Artists Matthew Coley, Scott Eiklenborg, Jaime Esposito, and Bridget Olenik will take the stage at 7 PM on Wednesday, June 21 in the Union High School auditorium and present a free concert for the public’s enjoyment. If you are unable to attend this concert but would like to hear their fun and festive selection of music including tangos, ragtime, patriotic music, and classical favorites, the group will be performing Tuesday, June 27 at the Brown Derby Ballroom, located at 618 Sycamore St. in Waterloo. More information can be found at www.HeartlandMarimbaFestival.com

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