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College volunteer lends an ear to student readers at Scottdale Public Library

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Kathy Barcovtch of Scottdale is giving children the opportunity to read aloud to her through a program at the Scottdale Public Library.
By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In conjunction with this year's summer reading program, the Scottdale Public Library is giving young children the opportunity to read out loud to an adult.

Every Monday at 1 p.m., after lunch and the activity time in Loucks Park, a college student looking for a volunteer opportunity will listen to children in kindergarten through fourth grade read out loud to her.

Kathy Barcovtch, a soon-to-be senior at St. Vincent College, is majoring in early childhood education and was looking for an opportunity this summer where she could interact with children.

A Scottdale resident and a former volunteer at the library, Barcovtch asked Children's Director Rhonda Allison if she could get involved in some way.

“Something important in the state standards right now is not only that teachers are reading to students, but also that they are reading out loud to someone,” Allison said.

With that in mind, she came up with the idea to have Barcovtch set up at the park to listen to any child who might want to read to her.

“This really gives the kids an opportunity to use the skills they've been learning all school year,” Barcovtch said.

Although she will have several books available from which the children can choose, they also are welcome to bring their own books.

Allison said on very rainy days, Barcovtch will be stationed in the library.

A blue flag will be displayed wherever Barcovtch is stationed.

“I don't know how this will go, since this is brand new, but we've talked about it before and we want to do everything we can to make reading an every day experience and not just something you do at the library,” Allison said.

Any books that are read to Barcovtch will be counted towards their books read as part of the summer reading program.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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