Maple Grade School recently partnered with the Hoopeston Public Library to present a special program for students and their families Feb. 6.

The Family Night, which was presented at the library, featured several activities and prizes for Maple pre-k and kindergarten students and their families.

Janell Sechriest, Hoopeston Public Library Children’s Room Coordinator, said Maple Teacher Bre Wallace had contacted the library about partnering with Maple to present a family night at library aimed at showing kids and their parents what the library has to offer.

Sechriest said this is the first of several family night events Maple and the library have planned and the focus of this first one was just to get the kids and their parents into the library.

“My focus with on this first one was just to get them in here to see what a great library we do have and that it’s more than just books,” she said. “And hoping that, once they’re in here, they’ll want to check books out.”

Sechriest was pleased with the turnout for this first program.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “It started off a little slow, but I think it’s a good turnout.”

Wallace said reading is vitally important to children’s education and the hope is that partnering with the library for events like these will get kids more interested in what the library has to offer.

“We’re trying to get kids excited about reading and coming to the library,” she said. “Because they offer so many good and different opportunities and kids and parents are really aware of what they have to offer.”

Wallace hopes that by getting students interested in going to the library now they will continue to want to come to the library during the summer and keep reading even when school isn’t in session.

“Reading is really important to continuing children’s education over the summer,” she said.

Wallace said one of the focuses of these first events will be to just get kids and their parents interested in coming to the library and getting them set up with library cards if they don’t already have them.

While this first event was specifically for pre-k and kindergarten students and their families, Wallace said they will present similar events for first and second grade students and their families as well.

Wallace said the first grade family night will be in March and the second grade family night will be in April.

Wallace was pleased with the turnout for the first event, especially in light of the snowy weather.

“It was really good for a snowy night,” she said. “We’re happy with it.”

The Library Family Night for first grade students will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 5 and the Library Family Night for second grade students will be presented at 5:30 p.m. April 2.