LAKEWOOD, Colo., March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Jefferson County Public Library today announced both a commemoration and collaboration. To commemorate the accomplishments of long-time county librarian, Bill Knott, the Library created Knott's Kids, an interactive children's literacy program that brings the best of Denver's cultural institutions to underprivileged children ages five through 12. Knott, who has been the county librarian at Colorado's second largest library system for the last 35 years, is happy to have his name linked to a children's literacy program-one of his life-long passions. "Colorado's children are scoring way below basic reading levels, particularly those with limited resources. Knott's Kids is designed to create excitement for reading and learning," said Knott. "From my experience, it is this excitement that will push children to want to find out more." To kick off the unique program, Jefferson County Public Library is collaborating with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Each of the 10 County libraries is hosting a free lively program and a traveling interactive display tied to the Museum's "Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World" exhibition (March 2 - May 20, 2007). Activities at the libraries during the program include hands-on demonstrations of Benjamin Franklin's discovery of electricity -- including experiments with an electron generator. Schedules for the hands-on demonstration are included at http://jefferson.lib.co.us/whats_new.html The exhibition, presented by the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary and supported by a lead gift of $4 million from The Pew Charitable Trusts, celebrates the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth. Denver is one of only five U.S. cities to experience the exhibition, which uses more than 250 artifacts, 40 hands-on interactives and more to tell the story of Franklin's interesting and influential life. "We're delighted that the Museum of Nature & Science can help us inspire curiosity in the minds of children, and we look forward to collaborating on many exhibits in the future," noted Cindy Phillips, manager of digital resources at the Library. In addition to interactive displays and programs in the libraries and at various after school programs, Knott's Kids will fund "Project Bookpack," a program that will bring backpacks filled with children's books to area homeless shelters and safe houses throughout Jefferson County. Knott's Kids is funded through private donations. Other program partners include Dinosaur Ridge, Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, Railroad Museum, Museo de las Americas and the Hiwan Homestead. According to Jefferson County Library Foundation Director John Walsh, hundreds of donations have already come in from community members. The Library Foundation raises and manages funds for the program, while the Library assumes responsibility for ongoing partnerships and program oversight. About the Jefferson County Public Library Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) works to enrich the quality of life for all people in the county by providing resources for information, education and recreation. JCPL is the second largest library in the State of Colorado and in the Rocky Mountain region. More than 395,000 Jefferson County residents are library card holders. A JCPL library card is the key to a network of 10 libraries and a Bookmobile offering books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs, as well as computer and Internet resources. For more information contact the Jefferson County Public Library's Public Information Office at (303) 275-2203 or visit http://jefferson.lib.co.us.
SOURCE Jefferson County Public Library