Our Voice: Libraries and CBC are huge community assets

Rainy-day fun

All the cloudy, rainy days this past week in the Tri-Cities made it tricky for families who had been planning on swimming lessons, camping trips and picnics in the park.

And while being stuck indoors is no fun, at least the rainy weather can't dampen the enjoyment of a good book.

With all the reading programs offered around the Mid-Columbia, the gray skies provided a good opportunity for kids to start logging those reading minutes.

We are grateful to live in a community where our libraries offer so many resources to its citizens and encourages children to read.

With school out, it is easy for kids to get out of the habit of reading. However, the summer reading programs sponsored by the libraries provide a great incentive to read and win prizes.

Each library has different reading goals for the summer, but most expect kids to read somewhere between 15 to 20 hours by the end of August.

There is still time for kids to start if they haven't already. Just sign up and get a good book.

Welcome home

In addition to what the libraries offer families, we also are thankful for Columbia Basin College and what it offers the community.

Recently, the CBC board approved construction of a $75,000 veterans memorial on the college's Pasco campus.

The idea started as a grassroots campaign and will be a way to show support for CBC's growing population of about 400 veterans.

It is being built with the idea of honoring past, present and future veterans and is described as a garden with trees, brick pathways and benches.

It is being called a "living monument" by CBC officials and will give students and staff a place to reflect.

It sounds inviting. Veterans can't be recognized enough, and it seems fitting that a community college, where so many veterans go for support, has a place designed in their honor.

Fulfilling needs

CBC also has gotten the go-ahead from the state for two new bachelor's degree programs that will provide careers for students and fills a demand in fields where well-trained employees are needed.

The new degrees will be for cybersecurity and project management.

The degree format allows students with their two-year associate degrees to earn a bachelor's degree with two more years of coursework.

CBC officials say they already have students interested in the new degree programs, which were helped by donations from Battelle and the U.S. Department of Energy.

It's great when donors and colleges can develop programs that help students and employers alike.