Gaylord Secretary of State office gets a reading corner with help from Parent Coalition
GAYLORD – Families visiting the Gaylord Secretary of State office will find the wait can be pleasant and productive with the launch of the Children’s Literary Corner.
The newly unveiled Literary Corner is designed to be family friendly and follows the national effort to encourage and support early education.
“What child doesn’t love a good story?” Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said. “Reading helps a child explore the world and opens up new opportunities for learning. A children’s reading corner at the Gaylord Secretary of State office says a lot about the priority that the staff and community place on education and the future of their children.”
All employees at the Gaylord office have children or grandchildren in preschool or elementary school. The employees began discussing a reading corner last summer and the idea took hold. The idea was proposed as a fun solution to make time at the branch both enjoyable and productive for families and children.
“One of my biggest joys as a grandparent has been reading with my grandchildren,” said LeBeth Baetens, Gaylord branch manager. “We are thrilled to provide this opportunity for parents and children to have a few minutes together to share the love of books.”

Research has shown children learn more from birth to age 5 than at any other time during their lives. Children who are exposed to reading at an early age tend to develop a larger vocabulary, experience greater social and emotional gains and are more likely to succeed in school.
Melinda Hambleton, director of the Gaylord Great Start Collaborative, said that the creation of the reading corner at Gaylord’s Secretary of State office is a great example of community collaboration. She acknowledged the work of the Parent Coalition members, Secretary of State staff, the Otsego County Library staff and members of Mothers of Preschoolers.
“It’s not only a wonderful accomplishment, it’s a great example of parent leadership, using the parent voice and parent effort to make a change,” Hambleton said.

The Literacy Corner features infant board books, toddler books and early reader books. Literary posters are displayed and free bookmarks are available from any branch office employee. The books were donated by the Otsego County Library, the local Great Start Parent Coalition and members of Mothers of Preschoolers.

Patrons wishing to donate new or gently used books to the Literacy Corner may do so during branch office hours.

Jeane Blazic, a parent volunteer with the Gaylord Great Start Parent Coalition believes the reading corner is an excellent example for the community. “It sends a message that the importance of literacy is a community-wide responsibility, and as a mother of three young girls, this is the kind of team-effort idea that I would love to see spread to other places in our community and beyond”
Patrons wishing to donate new or gently used books to the Literacy Corner may do so during branch office hours.


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