GUEST COMMENTARY: Open new chapter in your life at local library

2013-06-30T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Open new chapter in your life at local libraryBy Dennis Danko nwitimes.com
June 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

“There are three kinds of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder, 'What happened?'”

I love Hammond! I've lived here a long time. I married a Hammond girl whose grandfather owned a bakery on Homan Avenue at least a century ago. We raised our children here, and now we proudly watch them proactively make good things happen around them.

I am retired, and I now have a new family. My new children go to the Hammond Public Schools. I read to and mentor kindergarten through fifth-grade children in three elementary schools. These are my kids, and I want them to have the same advantages my biological children had.

It would be so much easier to just retire and watch things happen. If they could afford it, my kids could get an e-book and could even have the computer “read” to them. Technology is great, but my wife and I believe nothing beats a live read. The computer can't convey a love for learning, and a love for reading, and the joy of sharing those loves with others.

My kids' teachers do an outstanding job, but I hope the backup and reinforcement I provide will make a positive difference in my kids' lives. Parents can do the same at home.

Special needs children regularly visit the library as a learning experience, and my wife reads to them. You can watch their faces and eyes brighten as she makes those printed words come alive into their lives.

I can't go to every school, but every kid can go to the library and enjoy the programs that are provided. Every adult can enjoy book discussion groups, borrow the latest best-seller or finally read for the first time, or even reread a beloved classic.

Kids and adults can expand their world view and reading abilities by joining the teen group, participating in the summer reading program, or just by talking to the library associates and other patrons who love to learn.

Adults can enjoy free lectures on varied subjects from “Trees of Northwest Indiana,” "Sears and Montgomery Ward Catalog You Build It Yourself Homes in Hammond," "Butterfly Gardening" and on and on.

You can also take a "free" basic computer course if you want to make friends with that electronic one-eyed monster, and on and on.

Notice I put quotation marks around the word "free." These services aren't free! I pay for them with my taxes, and you do, too.

I sincerely hope and pray that someday I don't pull into an empty Hammond Public Library parking lot and wonder, “What happened?”

Dennis Danko is a Hammond resident. The opinions are the writer's.

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