Learn.Act.Grow. wins state library award

Published 4:03 pm Monday, November 16, 2015

Learn.Act.Grow., an annual series of programs offered by Rowan Public Library, won a programming award from the N.C. Public Library Directors Association.

Learn.Act.Grow. began in 2013 as a collaboration between Rowan Public Library staff and community partners.

The goal was to plan a series of five workshops that would inspire participants to learn, make positive changes, and grow from the experience while falling under the library’s mission to “inspire a spirit of exploration, power imagination, feed a joy of reading, and empower lifelong pursuit of knowledge.”

The first series of Learn.Act.Grow included workshops launched in January 2014 and showcased broad themes of nutrition and exercise. Community partners included Novant Health Corporate and Community Wellness Nurse Val Velte, then-director of Food and Nutrition at Morrison Healthcare Sarah Lynch, Morrison Healthcare Executive Chef Chris Herron, South Rowan YMCA fitness instructor Connie Strickland, Nature Center Supervisor Bob Pendergrass, and local fitness expert and USATF Certified Running Coach David Freeze.

Door prizes were donated by Travis Alligood of Therapeutic Touch LLC, Food Lion, U Learn 2 Run, the South Rowan YMCA, and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

More than 200 people attended the first series of workshops, with a dozen participants attending at least four out of five programs. Feedback was supportive of continuing the series as an annual event. So in the fall of 2014, library staff reached out to community partners again to plan another round of Learn.Act.Grow.

In addition to more nutrition and exercise workshops led by experts from Morrison Healthcare, Novant Health, Freeze, and staff from Skinny Wheels in Salisbury, the library offered new topics based on survey results from the previous year’s participants.

“Got Plans?” (January 2015) covered essential documents such as power of attorney, living wills and other important papers that families should have access to during a time of need and was led by local eldercare expert Don Timmons.

“Learn APP Grow” (February 2015) covered free apps that inspired participants to stay organized, get fit and eat healthier and was led by Rowan-Cabarrus Community College instructors Tricia Staggers and Virginia Graham Madorin.

Due to the innovative nature of this series of programs, the support of community partners and the community itself, and the focus on promoting positive lifelong changes for adults, Learn.Act.Grow. won the Adult Programming Award for a large library system from the NC Public Library Directors Association in November 2015.

For more information on Learn.Act.Grow. 2016, visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or facebook.com/rowanpubliclibrary.