Bernd Elementary opens library while public ones remain closed

Bernd Elementary's library will also be opened July 17th and 24th from 10 a.m. until noon.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT) – It’s almost time for kids to go back to school. But with the temporary closing of public libraries, it’s an obstacle for some students to continue their summer reading.

Bernd Elementary’s Principal Chad Thompson says with the closing of three libraries, getting to Washington Memorial Library may not be manageable. With the closings from commissioners depleting library funding, he wants to make sure student’s can get some last-minute summer reading in.

“Very sadden by that and the commission not seeing the importance of reading,” Thompson said.

The saying goes: It takes a village to raise a child, or children. With libraries closed while commissioners sort out funding, it’s cutting off resources for student’s education.

“Heard that funding was being depleted for, especially the east side library,” he said. “We knew it was going to be difficult for our students to get to the Washington Memorial Library.”

That’s when Thompson stepped in.

“We got plenty of books, so why not,” Thompson said.

He wasn’t going to let student’s and their families fall behind on their summer reading.

“It supports every other subject,” Thompson said. “If you can’t read, then you’re not going to be able to do well in math, science, social studies, any other curriculum area.”

Middle Georgia Public Library System Director Jennifer Lautzenheiser says she’s happy to see community partners help out.

“I think that anything that can keep kids connected to the resources that they need during the summer is a positive thing,” Lautzenheiser said. “It’s not a permanent fix. It’s a wonderful band-aid.”

Student’s are able to check books out and return them the following week. Those who aren’t students are still encouraged to come read.

Bernd Elementary’s library is open two other days, July 17th and 24th from 10 a.m. until noon.

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.