By LESLIE MIELKE
BLACKFOOT — Fort Hall students who attend the after-school program at Fort Hall Elementary visited the Blackfoot Public Library Monday afternoon.
"There's over 60,000 books in the library," said librarian Brenda Wilcox. "There's always new things to see in the library."
Besides books, there are computers, videos, DVDs, newspapers and activities.
"We want you to have a good time when you come to the library," Wilcox said.
Under Wilcox's tutelage, students toured the library. She pointed out easy readers, picture books, fiction stories, stories on CD, non-fiction and reference books.
"Reference books are not checked out," Wilcox said. "Some people research in the library for many hours; so the nice soft seats are appreciated."
Esperanza Taylor is the site coordinator for the Fort Hall Elementary after-school program.
"We're full," she said. "We have 30 students in our after-school program which is the maximum number we are allowed."
Students enjoy all the activities that are offered, Taylor said.
Some of the activities include:
° swimming twice each month.
° studying the Shoshone language. "Students really enjoy this," Taylor said.
° The Blackfoot High School Indian Club brings in culture lessons and teaches dancing and the meaning of the drums.
° 4-H projects.
° science projects.
° Independence High School students bring in peer mentoring.
Homework starts at 3 p.m. each day, Taylor said.
Director of the Blackfoot School District's after-school program is Candice Kniffin. Three sites in the Blackfoot School District have after-school programs—Wapello, Fort Hall and Independence Alternative High School.
This is the first year of a five-year grant, Kniffin said.
"There are amazing people working in the program," she said. Joy Mickelsen is the site coordinator at Wapello; she has three assistants. Taylor heads up the Fort Hall program; she has two assistants. Holly Kartchner and two assistants lead the Independence Alternative High School program.
The Independence Alternative High School program offers job shadowing and community service, Kniffin said. There's also a venturing program that is like Boy Scouts. Students went canoeing as part of this program.
"We are targeting 'at risk' youth," she said.
"Parents are also very supportive," Kniffin said. "The program will grow and change as we go forward."
"We live in a wonderful community that is willing to help; we can always use more community involvement," she said.
"If people or businesses have something to offer, like a talk or activity, please contact me."
Kniffin can be reached at the Wapello Elementary School at 684-8844.