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Roanoke General City News

Posted on: December 6, 2018

Roanoke Public Libraries Announce Launch of Star City Reads Toy Collection

At a special event this morning, Dec. 6, Roanoke Public Libraries announced the launch of the Star City Reads Toy Collection, which will allow families to check out toys. Yes, that’s right—toys!  Families will be given the opportunity to check out toy kits from the Main Library at the Youth Services Desk. Each kit contains a toy that supports key skills all young children need to succeed, such as fine motor skills, coordination, and cognition. In addition, each kit contains a book related to the toy. A maximum of two toy kits can be checked out at a time, and kits can be checked out for two weeks. Kits may be returned to any Roanoke Valley Library location. The toy kits are appropriate for children ages 6 months to 6 years.

“Roanoke’s award-winning Star City Reads initiative just keeps getting better,” says Mayor Sherman Lea. “We are so proud of the success of this program, and what it means for the future of our students.”

Since 2012, Star City Reads has been focused on improving children’s reading abilities. This new program supports the understanding that, in order for children to succeed in school they need not only to be able to read, but to have families who are engaged in their learning alongside them.

“As the Star City Reads lead organization, Roanoke Public Libraries is thrilled to have this new and fun way to help families support children’s learning,” says Sheila Umberger, Roanoke Public Libraries Director. “We are excited to make it possible for families to try new toys and to read books that connect to the toys they’re playing with. We hope Roanoke families use the toy kits as a chance to try something new, to read together, and to grow together.”

For more information, please contact Sheila Umberger at (540) 853-2476 or via email at


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