For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY - With Martin County's students already back to school, the Martin County Library System wants to make sure all children are using the most important school supply of all: a library card.
Owning a library card provides students the resources they need to compete academically. Most public libraries provide students free access to databases of news articles, encyclopedias and test-preparation materials, as well as homework help and resources.
In addition, public libraries are the No. 1 access point for free Internet access, an important resource for families without access at home, when 96 percent of school districts require students to use the Internet to complete their homework.
"A library card has always been the most important school supply of all," said Jennifer Salas, Martin County library system youth services coordinator.
"Kids can come to the library to get homework help and check out books, but they can also check out free music, DVDs and use the Internet to make after school life a little more fun. There's a lot happening at our libraries."
Studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.
A study by the American Library Association also showed that families use libraries to spend time together.
Library card sign-up month began in 1987. During September, the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all.
For more information on how to sign up for a library card, call (772) 288-5400, Ext. 8561, visit www.library.martin.fl.us, or visit any of the following Martin County libraries:
Blake Library (main library), 2351 S.E. Monterey Rd., Stuart.
Cummings Library (Palm City Branch), 2551 S.W. Matheson Ave., Palm City.
Hobe Sound Public Library, 10595 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound.
Elisabeth Lahti Library (Indiantown Branch), 15200 S.W. Adams Ave., Indiantown.
Hoke Library (Jensen Beach Branch), 1150 N.W. Jack Williams Way, Jensen Beach.
Robert Morgade Library (Chastain Campus IRSC), 5851 S.E. Community Drive, Stuart.