Volunteers sought to help with Delmont library STEM center

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Legos, magnets and an abacus will help Delmont area children learn more about science, technology, engineering and math this summer.

Delmont Public Library officials plan to use a $4,300 grant from the Baughman Family Foundation to upgrade the library's children's area to create an interactive STEM center. But first, they need some help.

The library is out of space, and director Denni Grassel said the best way to free up room is to add taller bookshelves. Grassel is seeking a volunteer to drive out to Robinson to pick up 80-inch bookcases from IKEA and additional volunteers with drills to help replace the shelving units.

“We want more books for the summer, and we have nowhere to go but up. Every inch of our floor is taken up,” Grassel said.

Once those are installed, library officials will begin putting creative play toys in the area. Dinosaurs, magnets, trucks, counting beads and an abacus will be available to children looking to learn more about science and math.

“The kids can come in and learn with things they might not have an opportunity to have at home,” Grassel said. “It's something to go along with the books. We obviously want the kids to read, but it's a different way of learning how to do math — not just through reading, but by doing.”

The grant will help the library provide more resources for adults and children, Grassel said.

Most of the money will be used for the children's area, but Grassel said some is earmarked for new ebooks.

“We're not just a storehouse for books anymore,” Grassel said. “We need to keep evolving, or we're going to be dinosaurs.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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