The High Ridge Rotary Club played Santa early this year, when they delivered and set up the new Early Childhood Learning Center toy collection at the Northwest Branch of the Jefferson County Library, according to director Pam Klipsch in a news release.
The High Ridge Rotarians applied for a $2,000 grant from Rotary International to fund the purchase of the toys for the library. High Ridge Rotary President Retta Susan Tuggle, also serves on the Jefferson County Library Board of Trustees. “When I received word of the grant program this year,” Tuggle said, “I immediately contacted Pam Klipsch to find out if there was something we could do for the library.”
Klipsch suggested the toy collection for preschoolers at the library. “I spent sixteen years as a children’s librarian,” Klipsch said. “The library where I worked had a small early learning play area for preschoolers when I arrived, and we added to it considerably over the years I was there. The parents and children loved having the toys there, and the play area was always in use.”
Klipsch explained that early learning toys are designed to foster the developmental needs of small children, such as gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial relationships, logic and language development. Some of the toys will be available in the children’s area of the library for independent play. Other toys will be used as part of small group programs that children’s librarian Molly Schmitt will offer for parents and children at the library.
JCL has a similar collection, donated by the Boemler family in honor of Loretta Boemler, housed in the children’s area at the Arnold Branch Library. “And we would love to find a donor willing to fund a similar collection at our Windsor Branch,” Klipsch hinted.