Two Santa Clara City Library Associates Win Awards and Receive Grants for Read Santa Clara
By Cynthia Cheng
One award ceremony took place during a pre-game at the Levi’s Stadium and the other occurred over 2,000 miles away from Santa Clara in Detroit, Michigan. Both awards ceremonies recognized outstanding women associated with the Santa Clara City Library and more specifically, Read Santa Clara, the library’s free adult literacy program.
Betsy Megas, former library trustee board member and current literacy volunteer for Read Santa Clara, was a finalist for the 49ers Community Quarterback Award. Nominated by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends, Megas was a guest at a Sept. 21 luncheon, also attended by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Bono. Here, Megas received a large trophy depicting a football player and the library foundation received $1,000, to be used to support Read Santa Clara. During an Oct. 2 pre-game at Levi’s Stadium, Megas and the other award winners were publicly recognized at the 50-yard line.
“My late husband spent a great deal of time at Kaiser Hospital and I noticed that the pediatric waiting rooms had children’s books in them and the the non-pediatric waiting rooms had no books,” Megas says. “So I suggested to the library foundation – since they collect donated books all the time – that they partner with Kaiser to get books in the other waiting rooms. They ran with the idea and put several thousand books in the waiting rooms. Also, I’ve worked with a variety of learners in the Read Santa Clara program for over 10 years. The work is its own reward. What’s really inspiring about working with adult learners is watching them grow and knowing I played some small part in it.”
Also involved in Read Santa Clara is Ellin Klor, who has served as the family literacy librarian at the Santa Clara City Library for the last nine years. On Oct. 18, at the National Center for Families Learning Conference in Detroit, Michigan, Klor was recognized as the 2016 Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year runner-up. She received a plaque and a $5,000 grant for Read Santa Clara. Klor was nominated by Shanti Bhaskaran, the library’s literary program supervisor.
“Our family literacy outreach programs are normally funded through the library foundation with grants,” Klor says. She adds that Toyota funds family literacy grants through the National Center for Families Learning. Read Santa Clara will start a new literacy program with the grant Klor just received.
“The new program is with Scott Lane Preschool and its families,” Klor says. “Some of the money will fund the staff. We’re also going to try to build home libraries and give books to those families. We’re also going to use the funding for a crafts program. When a parent and a child do a craft together, it creates a dialogue between them and it’s good practice for what is a good thing to do with a young child at home. We really want to facilitate early learning.”