Shelves of books, a table with chairs painted the colors of the rainbow and a quote from Dr. Seuss’ “I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.”
These were the sights for visitors at the Hall County Division of Family and Children Services’ office on McEver Road as the department unveiled its lending library Wednesday, Aug. 21.
“It helps us do what our agency is trying to do everywhere, which is remind folks that DFCS is a place to come for all sorts of services. We are here to reach out to the community, to engage with the community, to be of service to the families and children of the state who need us,” DFCS Director Tom Rawlings said.
The lending library will be available not only to those being served by DFCS but for the community. In a few weeks, a box will be available for after-hours dropoff.
Flanked by Rawlings and Clifford the Big Red Dog, former Gov. Nathan Deal praised the opening of the library as a vital resource for children.
“Literacy is one of those essential building blocks to be able to keep young people on the right track,” Deal said.
When pursuing his criminal justice reform, Deal asked about common denominators of those in the prison system. Almost 70% of those incarcerated had dropped out of school and did not have a high school diploma.
“I think it will be true that there will be children who will come here with parents who are seeking the assistance of the state, and hopefully they will see a book. They will become interested in a book, and they will continue on a path of wanting to read even more. And if that’s true, the trajectory of those children’s lives will change, and that’s what we all want,” Deal said.
The library was dedicated to former First Lady Sandra Deal, who championed literacy during her time in the Governor’s Mansion.