The Gridley Friends of the Library will be having their annual meeting at 6:30 on Wednesday, May 10th, in the Nora Wiley Conference Room at the Gridley Branch of the Butte County Library. All members of the public are invited.

On that evening there will be a presentation of the Donald Wiley award for 2017, given each year to someone who has contributed to the furthering of literacy in the local community.

Kathy McKenzie will be speaking about MiCASA, a program to increase academic progress, community involvement, a strong work ethic and social growth among the children living at the farm labor community east of Gridley. This successful after-school program has grown over the years and now is attended by nearly 85 students, ranging in age from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Parents of these students work in the fields in the Gridley area. Many have had limited educational advantages themselves and are unable to help their children with their homework.

MiCASA has been in existence since 2000. For the first four years funding was provided by the “No Child Left Behind” program through the Butte County Department of Education, but since then it has been a non-profit program largely supported by such as the Gridley Education Faction, the Gridley Teachers Association, the CSEA, the public workers of Gridley and local service organizations. Most of the teachers are on a volunteer basis, although a recent grant has allowed for small stipends for the high school and college age tutors.

On May 6th a Walkathon will be held to support MiCASA. All monies raised will go toward acquiring computers and for summer enrichment activities. Donations will be gratefully accepted. Tickets are available from students in the program or online at www.micasaeducation.com/donate_now. MiCASA students appreciate your support.

On average each student has read 10 books this school year, thanks to encouragement from the Dollar General Literacy Grant. MiCASA students enter kindergarten as second language learners with very few literacy skills. Through the years students progress until some have been valedictorians at Sycamore and Gridley High School. Currently 10 students are attending Chico State and Butte College.