As some of you know, the Kern County Library and Shafter Learning Center would like to expand. If you have gone to the Learning Center lately, you may have seen a stack of surveys on the desk. If you fill out a survey, you are making a contribution by giving feedback for the Shafter City Council to review and potentially change the learning landscape of Shafter.
Expanding the Learning Center means, possibly, new classrooms. As a child myself, that would be great for me and any other kid who uses the Learning Center. If more classrooms are built, it would mean more classes going at once, instead of the usual two at a time. An example of how this would help is on Thursday afternoons, when both classrooms are filled and there is also a class in the lobby. With the expansion, this would not happen and the lobby at 4:00 would be less crowded.
With more classroom space, more classes could be offered in a wider variety of topics. Kids from all of the elementary schools in Shafter get to meet each other, which could give kids opportunities to make new friends. They could make new friends through the variety of classes that could be offered.
An expansion for the library could mean a new children's section. According to staff, right now the library has the smallest square footage in the Kern County Library system. Currently, it is a mix of adult and children's books. The expansion could mean a children's-only space. In a children's only space, kids would be encouraged to stay and read.
The Shafter Library would also like an expansion because when they have shows, such as a magic show or reptile show, they would not have to do it in a Learning Center classroom. If the expansion goes through, they could do the shows in another part of the library. An expansion would spell the end for a cramped library with no room for shows and exhibitions of the performing arts.
The Shafter Learning Center is an important part of our community. It has gained prestige through the high level of education that it offers. The Library, too, is a valued part of our community through the books that it offers and the friendly librarians that work there. Whenever I go to the library, the librarian(s) on duty always greet me with a friendly “Hi guys” or “Hello Henry.” The expansion would be a great opportunity for the young people of Shafter to get more involved in education and explore some great books.
Henry Wiebe is a contributing columnist who is currently a fourth grader at Grimmway Academy Shafter. This is his first Shafter Press[ column. Henry enjoys cheering for the Dodgers. He is a frequent Shafter Learning Center student, and you can usually find him browsing the aisles of the Shafter Library. His opinions are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Shafter Press or its publisher.