Kay Ward Little Library
BP&H Dedicates Library in Honor of Kay Ward
Posted on 11/01/2018
Kay Ward Little Library

On a festive Halloween day, Burke, Powers & Harty (BP&H) surprised BTCS Community Outreach Coordinator Kay Ward with a ceremony to dedicate the Kay Ward Little Library, a free, children’s library at their insurance agency location at 1236 Volunteer Parkway.

With all of the staff of BP&H and many of Kay's friends, family, and co-workers in attendance, the crowd payed tribute to Ms. Ward's service to students and families for more than 40 years through the Community Resource Center (CRC), countless other outreach efforts, and as a classroom teacher.

The top floor of the business is also home to the BTCS Community Resource Center, which is space BP&H has donated to the school district since 2013. Children and families who visit the CRC or or just want to drop by the library may help themselves to free books at anytime.

According to Lea Powers, of Burke, Powers & Harty Insurance, the idea was born when their staff members were discussing a theme for dressing up on Halloween. As they landed on the idea of dressing as their favorite book characters, someone suggested building a small, outdoor library where children and families could have access to books anytime. From there, the library took shape as not only an opportunity to promote reading but also to honor the work of Ms. Ward, a tireless, longtime advocate for BTCS students and families.

“As a former educator and as I continue to work closely with Kay and the school system, I know how important reading is to whether a child succeeds academically,” Powers said. “For the past four years, Kay has served as the volunteer coordinator and a leader for the Reading Buddies Bristol TN/VA program. The overall goal of Reading Buddies is to ensure students are reading on grade level by third grade. One of the strategies of the program is to provide books to students to help build their home libraries. Studies show that children who have access to books at home have a greater opportunity to succeed. We hope our library can contribute to the efforts already underway to get books in the hands of children who need them.”

About the Bristol Tennessee City Schools Community Resource Center: The CRC is a place BTCS families can go for help in meeting their basic needs. Assistance offered at the CRC includes:

  • Resource packet with contacts to local agencies willing to assist with financial, housing, and insurance issues
  • Seasonal family clothing at no cost to eligible recipients
  • Non-perishable food at no cost to eligible recipients
  • Personal hygiene items at no cost to eligible recipients
  • School supplies to BTCS students of need
  • Limited cleaning supplies/laundry detergent at no cost to eligible recipients
  • Connections to obtaining new shoes for BTCS students of need
  • Holiday assistance: both BTCS and community efforts

Referrals for assistance are taken from BTCS staff members and community agencies who are working with BTCS families. Additionally, parents/guardians of BTCS students may call for assistance.

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