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Samuels Public Library – bringing people, information, and ideas together

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Library Director Michelle Ross joined Samuels Public Library on July 1, 2020.

On July 1, 2020, Michelle Ross became our new Library Director at Samuels Public Library. Michelle came here from Charleston, West Virginia, where she had a well-established record of leadership, success and community focus with a passion for excellent library services, programs and events. Michelle holds a Master of Library & Information Science Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and was named the 2020 recipient of the Linda G. Wright Award for excellence in Library Service in Kanawha County, West Virginia, where she served as the Sissonville Branch Manager.

“My professional philosophy is that libraries should be the heart of their communities and Samuels Public Library is a perfect example. I am thrilled about the opportunity to lead such a talented and dedicated staff.”

She said the pandemic required closing the library to the public from mid-March until mid-June following the Governor’s Executive Orders.

“But during that time we found ways to continue serving our patrons. We offered curbside pickup; we created new visual programs that included craft kits patrons could pick up to take home; we added new online resources, and while we were closed we took actions to ensure the library’s readiness for reopening, cleaning, painting and making sure our patrons could observe social distancing requirements. During the period we were closed we had 1,651 curbside pickups (from May 4 until June 30), with 10,400 items checked out, along with 188 craft kits, 26 by adults, and 162 by kids. We also offered 72 virtual programs.” As she said,” it takes more than a pandemic to keep a good library down.”

The library has now reopened, operating on its regular schedule; however, meeting rooms are still not available.  Masks are required for all patrons over the age of 10, and furniture has been rearranged to encourage social distancing.  Returns and donations are quarantined for 5 days. High-touch areas are sanitized frequently.  Curbside service is still available, and programs continue to be delivered virtually.

Epilogue Bookstore is open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm.

The library has offered numerous virtual programs. You can now read digital magazines at RBDigital, for example. Other virtual programs and apps include OverDrive (ebooks and audiobooks), Hoopla (movies, TV, ebooks, audiobooks, music, and comics), Rocket Languages, Peterson’s Career Prep, Cricket Media (preK-8th grade ebooks), Universal Class (500+ online courses), and Freegal Music.

It also offers adult services: “Books and Beyond Discussion,” offered the first Wednesday of every month at 10 am; and “Photography and Beyond,” offered on Saturdays at 10 am. (“What the Tech!” is not offered as a virtual program.)

Michelle also reminded us that this is Library Sign-up Month, so if you do not have a library card, or have misplaced your card, this is the month to take advantage of that. And finally this month the library is celebrating SAMICON, a comic book and “geek” convention for all ages. This year it is a virtual celebration, with a scavenger hunt each week to celebrate local merchants. She encourages all to join the fun.

For additional information, you can contact her at mross@samuelslibrary.net or 540-635-3153 ext. 110.

Written by Hank Ecton

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House of Hope continues to serve thanks to community support

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The House of Hope continues to serve our local homeless men even through the pandemic, currently at 76% capacity. We are so proud to announce the House itself has experienced a series of improvements. We are so thankful for the community support and volunteer efforts that have grown throughout the past several months.

HOUSE

The home now has brand new wood flooring! It looks absolutely amazing. The men also now have a new door installed in the shower stall/bathroom space. If you look at the before and after pictures you will see how necessary these improvements were. Drywall work, kitchen storage solutions and paint, have created a much cozier vibe in the House of Hope.

GRADUATE

Recently, there has been new community support helping a House of Hope graduate set up his new apartment space. The search started on Facebook looking for just a microwave and day bed. The donations grew resulting in linens, special basket of household necessities, blanket, very generous Walmart gift card, pots & pans, Dutch oven, huge box of food, futon, and TV. The donations were made by EVERYONE in the community including churches, businesses, and individuals.

A Special Note: As we have been helping find donations for his apartment, our House of Hope graduate has been thinking about how he might be able to help two other gentlemen in need. The ripple effect. Isn’t this what we want to see in this world these days? Those who have been helped now helping others.

As you read this article, is the House of Hope new to you? Wondering what is the House of Hope? Well….

The House of Hope is a program we have available in Warren County for local homeless men. The program requires the men to be ready to make a permanent change to get back on their feet. The House is a place they can live while saving money, creating a budget, learning new life skills, and more! The men live together very much like how a family would operate. During the day the men are out at work. There are volunteers who help organize house chores, cook meals, organize donations, and work with the Executive Director.

What happens AFTER the gentlemen graduate? It became obvious that the community was very interested in donating to help set up new independent living space for graduates. Jennifer Avery will help continue this enthusiasm and momentum. Watch for future donation requests as more graduates prepare for independent housing. We have storage space! If other non profits discover a need for household items as they transition their own participants into independent living, let’s talk!

Jennifer Avery
540-683-0790
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com

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The community reads to our children – Jen

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Phoenix Project has started a new program. The community is invited to prerecord a book reading and submit to the Phoenix Project to be used as a social media post each Friday!

For those who might need a little extra technical help, please feel free to reach out to the Phoenix Project directly, or Jen Avery (540-683-0790 or jenspirationmarketing@gmail.com) who has volunteered her assistance in capturing your video and submitting on your behalf.

Week 4: Jen reads “You’re Here For a Reason” by Nancy Tillmany

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The community reads to our children – Nina Huck

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Phoenix Project has started a new program. The community is invited to prerecord a book reading and submit to the Phoenix Project to be used as a social media post each Friday!

For those who might need a little extra technical help, please feel free to reach out to the Phoenix Project directly or Jen Avery (540-683-0790 or jenspirationmarketing@gmail.com) who has volunteered her assistance in capturing your video and submitting on your behalf.

Week 4: Nina Huck reads The Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair

www.phoenix-project.org
Office: 540-635-2302
HOTLINE: 540-635-2300  —  The hotline is answered 24/7

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The community reads to our children – Officer Bradley Pennington

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Phoenix Project has started a new program. The community is invited to prerecord a book reading and submit to the Phoenix Project to be used as a social media post each Friday!

For those who might need a little extra technical help, please feel free to reach out to the Phoenix Project directly or Jen Avery (540-683-0790 or jenspirationmarketing@gmail.com) who has volunteered her assistance in capturing your video and submitting on your behalf.

Week 3: Officer Bradley Pennington reads The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

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The community reads to our children!

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Phoenix Project has started a new program on Fridays! Child Advocate Beth McChesney has invited community members to read a book to the children of the families they serve. The community is invited to prerecord a book reading and submit to the Phoenix Project to be used as a social media post each Friday!

Beth comments, “We know it has been especially hard on the children and we wanted to gather the community and give back. We thought this would be a simple task that anyone in the community who wanted to could participate in. When we made the post about it, I had several people reach out wanting to read and give back. By sharing these stories with everyone, we hope we can bring awareness and provide something for the kids to look forward to on Fridays.”

For those who might need a little extra technical help, please feel free to reach out to the Phoenix Project directly, or Jen Avery (540-683-0790 or jenspirationmarketing@gmail.com) who has volunteered her assistance in capturing your video and submitting on your behalf.

Enjoy the first two books that were read in the videos connected to this article. More to come!

Week 1: Tim Strakbein reads There’s a Bear in My Chair by Ross Collins


Week 2: Jen Avery reads David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon


Contact info for Beth: 

Beth McChesney
Child Advocate
Phoenix Project
www.phoenix-project.org
Hotline: 540-635-2300
Office: 540-635-2303

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Senior Living – A card can mean everything!

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During this holiday season, the Rotary Club of Warren County would like to remind you to consider writing cards to local senior living facilities. Folks are feeling extra alone because of the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. It might be nice to include a message wishing all the residents a wonderful day. It is even more important to send a card or message since residents are not getting their usual communication.

The 3 & 4-year-old classes at Grasshopper Green Preschool in Strasburg also colored pictures for the residents of the memory care units at Hidden Springs and other area nursing homes.

Kristen Tulallah and Josh Pence prepare drawings to send to the nursing homes. Kristen and her family sent 68 Christmas cards to Hidden Springs Senior Living in Bentonville.

Let’s help connect our whole community and bring a sense of joy through the little things! Even after the holiday passes, birthday wishes are always needed as well.

A motivating fact:
Senior living facilities reported that ½ to ¾ of the residents do not receive cards or mail (the exception was Hidden Spring with all receiving something). Total of all residents: 469.
Address to: “Any Resident.”

  • Hidden Springs Senior Living, 973 Buck Mountain Road Bentonville, VA 22610
  • Heritage Hall Nursing Home, 400 W. Strasburg Road Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Shenandoah Senior Living, 103 Lee Burke Road Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Lynn Care Center, 1000 N. Shenandoah Ave. Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Fox Trail Senior Living, 106 Westminster Drive Front Royal, VA 22630
  • Royal Haven Inc., 201 West Criser Road Front Royal, VA 22630

This is the breakdown of numbers as of December 2:

  • Hidden Springs – 68
  • Lynn Care – 90
  • Commonwealth Senior Living – 80
  • Heritage Hall -30
  • Fox Trail – 30
  • Shenandoah Senior Living – 32
  • Woods Cove (formerly Royal Haven) – 38
  • Skyview Springs (Luray) – 101

Special thank you and recognition to our Rotarians: Hidden Springs 68 – Kristen Pence & family; Lynn Care 100 – Carol, Melanie B, Debbie; Commonwealth Senior Living 80 – Mari Jo, Hank & Barbara; Heritage Hall 30 – Ellen & Kahle; Fox Trail 30 – Ellen & Kahle; Shenandoah Senior Living 32 – Michael; Woods Cove 38 – Peggy; Skyview Springs in Luray 101 – Melanie H.

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Front Royal
37°
Fog
7:22am5:28pm EST
Feels like: 37°F
Wind: 2mph NE
Humidity: 97%
Pressure: 29.87"Hg
UV index: 0
WedThuFri
41/27°F
34/21°F
32/19°F

Upcoming Events

Jan
29
Fri
12:30 pm Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Edu... @ Online Event
Jan 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ Online Event
Save a Life: Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education January 29th The Northwestern Prevention Collaborative and Northwestern Community Services Board will offer a free virtual REVIVE! Training on January 29th from 12:30 pm to[...]
Jan
30
Sat
2:00 pm Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
Jan 30 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Paint Camellias with The Studio @ The Studio - A Place for Learning
We will paint these beautiful camellias on Saturday, January 30th at 2 pm at The Studio. This will be the first in a series of floral paintings we will do over the course of 2021.[...]
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
6:00 pm Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Jan 30 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Robert Burns Night 2021 @ Virginia Beer Museum
Known in medieval Celtic culture as a storyteller, verse maker, and composer, the word ‘Bard’ has become synonymous with the world’s greatest poets. However, few are as celebrated as Scotland’s own ‘National Bard’, Robert Burns,[...]
Feb
9
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 9 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
11
Thu
6:30 pm Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
13
Sat
6:00 pm Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Parent’s Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Feb 13 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parent's Night Out @ Code Ninjas
Help Code Ninjas Front Royal celebrate our Grand Opening! We are hosting our first Parent’s Night Out! $35 per child, space limited to 5! – Drop them off. Go have fun. Just remember to pick[...]
Feb
15
Mon
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 15 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]
Feb
16
Tue
10:00 am Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
Feb 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training @ Online Event
The Warren Coalition, in partnership with Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, will offer area residents two opportunities to take a free, virtual Course 1 Trauma-Informed Training in February. This course is designed to provide information about identifying[...]
Feb
17
Wed
9:00 am Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Feb 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free Tax Preparation @ Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Free tax preparation will be available again this year through the AARP Tax Aide at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Front Royal, Monday and Wednesday mornings beginning Feb. 15th. To make an appointment, please call[...]