Despite a flood, which resulted in the loss of approximately 700 books, the literacy association Success Won’t Wait and Delaware Adolescent Program Inc. (DAPI), recently announced the completion of the New Castle County location’s new library on October 10, 2004.
The new library houses over 1,000 books for use by DAPI students. DAPI is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive services for pregnant teens and adolescent parents, including continuing education and a day school for girls aged 12-19.
“The library is a tremendous achievement and a testament to perseverance,” explains Success Won’t Wait president Susan McNeill. “We encountered many roadblocks along the way, including a flood which destroyed hundreds of books and the room’s carpet, but the end result is a warm and inviting space that encourages DAPI students to read.”
Because DAPI works with students within a wide range of ages and educational levels, Success Won’t Wait volunteers strove to include something for everyone. The new space offers students junior and teen level-reading, adult works of fiction and non-fiction, college prep reading and the classics, reference books such as dictionaries and thesauri, and parenting books. “We are particularly pleased with the “baby library” within the space,” says Success Won’t Wait vice president Vincenza Carrieri-Russo. “This section is devoted to children’s books for the young mothers to read to their babies. The mothers benefit by practicing their reading aloud and the babies benefit from the shared experience.”
In addition to providing books, Success Won’t Wait volunteers painted the room, bought and hung new curtains, and assembled newly purchased shelving. “The local community really came together in support of this project,” explains Carrieri-Russo. “We received a paint donation from MAB Paint on Kirkwood Highway, and all of the shelving units were generously donated by Creative Travel of Newark.”
“We are all so pleased with the new library,” says DAPI’s Wilmington Center Director, Marcella Martin. “Just seeing it gives us so much hope and inspiration for the renovations of the rest of the building.”
Success Won’t Wait addresses the problem that despite efforts to remedy it, illiteracy in Delaware continues to be significant. Success Won’t Wait co-founder Vincenza Carrieri-Russo says, “According to the Delaware Coalition on Literacy (2003) one in five adults experiences some difficulty with basic reading tasks such as reading classifieds, consulting bus schedules, voting intelligently, or completing job applications.”
The organization operates four special programs designed to enhance literacy on several levels. In addition to creating Independent Libraries at locations such as DAPI, the organization is active in the collection of children’s books for Children’s Book Baskets. Upon request, these are placed, at no charge, in any lobby or office where a child might wait. Thousands of books have been placed statewide in locations such as doctors’ and dentists’ offices, karate and dance studios, beauty salons, car dealerships and auto repair shops.
Success Won’t Wait also makes donations of thousands of books annually in support of local library Friends groups. Finally, Success Won’t Wait expands existing permanent, residential libraries that are greatly in need including donations for Ferris School for Boys, Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution, and Young Correctional Institution.
“We are so pleased to work with an organization like DAPI,” says Success Won’t Wait co-founder Susan McNeill. “The young women there are motivated and working hard to finish their education. Our hope is that this library will make it just a little easier.”
Founded in 2002, Success Won’t Wait, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit literacy organization based in Wilmington, Delaware. Want to learn more about Success Won’t Wait’s literacy projects, how to donate used books in Delaware, or volunteer your time? Click on the About Us tab to learn more.
Read now, because success won’t wait!