by Donna Childs
One day a woman from the Midland Library knocked on the door of the apartment where Karla Chan lives with her family to tell them about the library’s Spanish language resources and Summer Reading program. Years later, Karla began volunteering with Summer Reading, and now she, too, helps with outreach in the Hispanic community. Furthermore, she was the first volunteer to coordinate library tours for apartment complex residents.
But that’s not all. In addition to two days of Summer Reading, Karla devotes two days a week to Midland’s summer free lunch program, which means set-up, washing dishes, and clean-up, in addition to serving food. Karla also plans and works at library events for Hispanic families, and does outreach at schools. A high school junior, Karla is responsible enough to be an intern this coming summer, a prospect that delights both Karla and library staff.
Although outreach includes the sometimes-daunting task of approaching strangers, Karla believes strongly in community involvement, encouraging children to read, and bringing families to the library. She helps plan, organize, and run the end-of-summer party with food, games, and activities, which has brought as many as 50 patrons to the library, some for the first time. She also organizes festivities for the Dia de los Ninos and the Dia de los Libros celebrations, decorating the library and planning snacks, games, and performances to highlight children and bilingual literacy.
A lover of both vocal and instrumental music, Karla is a dedicated member of her church’s pop-rock choir. Having played the violin since she was in 5th grade, Karla performs in her high school’s symphony orchestra, which placed second in statewide competition last year.
Karla hopes to attend college with the goal of becoming a pediatric dental hygienist. Her dream is to participate in mission trips through her church to Spanish-speaking countries, especially Guatemala, her parents’ birthplace, to help children with oral health needs. Karla credits her library volunteer work with shaping and honing her communication skills. She is certainly a mature, poised, and articulate young woman, who is all about educating, serving, and helping others, at Midland and in the larger world.
A Few Facts About Karla