Heights Libraries is pleased to introduce Margaret Cochran-Glanton, the Library’s ShareCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) summer associate. Cochran-Glanton will work at the Library for nine weeks, assisting with the implementation and execution of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s summer lunch program at the Lee Road branch.
The Americorps VISTA program sends its members to communities facing challenges like inequality and poverty to offer assistance, and due to the high rate of poverty among the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District’s children, the Library’s summer lunch program qualified. Summer Lunch at Heights Libraries is a summer meal program for school-age children supported by the Ohio Department of Education through the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
Cochran-Glanton has a background in education, working as a substitute teacher for eleven years in both the Cleveland and Cleveland Heights-University Heights public school districts. She also was an Americorps volunteer with its National &Community Service Program, helping with afterschool and summer programs for kids in Cleveland that focused on nutrition and fitness. Her work with the summer lunch program includes setup, service, and cleanup of daily meals; data and attendance tracking; engaging youth through enrichment activities; planning enrichment activities; and community outreach and promotion of our program.
“I think it’s important to be giving and caring to those who are less fortunate than ourselves,” said Cochran-Glanton. “Americorps gives me the opportunity to grow and put into practice what I’ve learned in this life about putting others before yourself.”
Heights Libraries Special Projects Manager Maggie Kinney oversees the summer lunch program, and is grateful for both the VISTA program and Cochran-Glanton’s experience.
“During the summer, we have so many kids who spend time at the library, sometimes all day if their parents work, and many of them don’t bring a snack, or have money to buy one,” said Kinney. “With Margaret’s help and expertise, we can really focus not only on making sure the lunches get served, but making sure the kids receive some kind of enrichment while they are with us, through either a story, a craft, or some other literacy-based activity.”
The summer lunch program runs through August 9 at the Lee Road branch, 12 – 1 p.m.. The Noble Neighborhood branch also offers lunches provided by the Food Banks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m..