ESS Children's Library
We are happy to introduce you to our Children’s Library, sponsored by the Longview Rotary. Our Children’s Library provides a safe and comfortable space for children to study, read, do homework and form a healthy bond with their mothers. The Longview Rotary provided us with books from a variety of different genres for toddlers, children, and teens. In addition to books, they donated bean bag chairs, colorful wall decor, bookshelves, and a lamp; transforming the space into a comfortable and colorful reading nook.
The Children’s library helps to break the cycle of violence by creating a safe space for children who have endured difficult circumstances to continue to learn and grow.
Our advocate Angie shared a story about a toddler who had come to the shelter with her mother, fleeing domestic violence. Angie provided support to the mother and child and worked with them to strengthen their relationship and reduce the effects of trauma. “One thing that was really helpful, was the Children’s Library”, she said. The mother and child were often found snuggled up together, reading books in the library. At one point, the child found an electronic book that she could use to record her own voice. She pushed the record button and spoke to the book saying, “I love you Mommy”. She replayed and listened to her recorded voice over and over again.
Angie also shared a story about a little boy who celebrated his birthday while staying at the shelter. The only thing that he wanted on his special day was a new book. Luckily the Children’s Library provided a variety of books for the mother to choose from to gift to her son. This worked out well, as the mother did not have to leave the safety of the shelter to purchase his birthday present. Her son’s eyes filled with joy as he opened 3 new books on this birthday.
In addition to reading the books in the library, children are allowed to check out books to take to their rooms. It is not uncommon for the shelter to allow children to keep a book that is special to them when they move out of the shelter and into their new home. We happily accept new and gently used books from the community as a way to keep our library filled with books for children ages 0-18. We would like to give a special thanks to the Longview Rotary for blessing us with this wonderful resource that brings light and happiness to many families who stay with us.