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Libraries to Offer Free Telescope Check Out Program
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), November 1, 2014 - The St. Louis Public Library, along with St. Louis County, Kirkwood Public, and University City Libraries, will soon offer an exciting partnership with the St. Louis Astronomical Society (SLAS).
Beginning November 10, the Library Telescope Program will enable patrons age eighteen-years or older with a valid library card and state ID to check out a telescope for seven days.
In one of the largest rollouts since the program's 2008 inception by Marc Stowbridge and the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, SLAS will provide a total of seventeen Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescopes to the participating St. Louis area library systems, three of which will be donated.
Each telescope is modified by SLAS to be more durable and patron-friendly and is equipped with everything needed to explore the night sky: user manual, constellation guide, Moon map, lens cleaner, night light, and a storage pouch. SLAS will provide the libraries with on-going educational support and telescope maintenance.
Throughout the year, St. Louis Public Library and St. Louis County Library Branches and the Kirkwood and University City Libraries will also host star parties where the public can gather to view the wonders of the universe through telescopes.
"Imagine being able to look up at the night sky and see the surface of the moon, constellations, or planets with your children. What a great way to inspire a sense of wonder and instill the love of learning," said Patty Carleton, St. Louis Public Library's Director of Youth Services.
St. Louis Astronomical Society President Jim Small notes, "SLAS is excited to bring the Library Telescope Program to the St. Louis area. The program will allow library patrons to enjoy their own experience of the night sky without the expense of purchasing a telescope. It is a great extension of the work we already do with star parties and other events for the St. Louis Science Center, Gateway Arch, YMCA, and regional communities, schools, and park systems." This collaborative effort is a perfect match for the mission of public libraries - to provide learning resources and information services that support individual, family, and community life.
For details, call 314-539-0384.
Gov. Nixon Visits with Students, Teachers and Staff at Hazelwood West High
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), October 23, 2014 - Gov. Jay Nixon visited Hazelwood West High in north St. Louis County today to discuss the importance of public education to the state's economy and hear from students about their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges facing the region.
On Tuesday, Gov. Nixon announced that he will create a Ferguson Commission to study and make specific recommendations for how to make progress on the issues raised by events in Ferguson.
"This is a defining moment that will set the course of this region for years to come, so it is vital that the voices of young people are heard," Gov. Nixon said. "That's why, as we start to develop a commission to examine these issues, I wanted to come and hear directly from students here about their experiences and perspectives."
During a roundtable discussion, the Governor took questions from students and listened to their concerns and viewpoints about the challenges facing their communities and the region. Gov. Nixon said that ensuring young people have a voice about these issues will be a key priority of the Ferguson Commission.
In an all-school assembly, Gov. Nixon applauded the Hazelwood School District for its solid performance on new, more rigorous state standards and for its cultivation of excellent teachers. Hazelwood West High school English and journalism teacher Chris Holmes was named Missouri's 2014 Teacher of the Year in August.
"Strong public schools are essential not only to the success of our students, but also to the economic vitality of this region and our state," Gov. Nixon said. "That's why I will continue to work across the aisle to put more resources - and rigor - in our classrooms and ensure students are ready to compete for the best jobs in the global economy."
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