|January 2001||Volume 3 Number 1|
School and Public Library Partnership Grant Program
for Family Literacy and Parent Involvement
Susan Cormier, Childrens' Services Consultant
The Connecticut State Library has consulted with the State Department of Education and the local schools and libraries to create projects to improve family literacy and parent involvement in five communities with priority schools. The following projects are being undertaken by the public libraries under this program was created by Public Act 00-187.
It is the goal of this partnership to establish an outreach program from the public library to the families of Edgerton Elementary School and to increase the resources available in Spanish for these families at the public library. Activities include:
- Hiring a Spanish-speaking programmer to conduct tours, card registrations, story hour programs and basic library skills programs at the library and the school
- Purchasing Spanish language materials including books, magazines, videos, and CD-ROMs.
- Creating a separate Spanish language section in the children's room of the library
- Conducting bilingual after school programming
- Translating library newsletter, flyers, calendar and website into Spanish
- Adding a Spanish option to library voice mail
It is the goal of this partnership to create an outreach program from the public library to families that are served by Natchaug School as well as the family resource center and other programs located in the school. Activities include:
- Offering information at Natchaug School After School Programs, family resource center play groups, home visits, and Windham Adult Education programs serving Natchaug families on the importance of reading and services of the library
- Increasing parent's exposure to reading techniques programs by modeling the behaviors that increase reading success
- Increasing the number of books available for literacy activities in the home
The library has hired a bilingual partnership coordinator who will conduct visits to the school, accompany resource center staff on home visits, and work with parent groups. She will coordinate school visits to the library, encourage library card registration to families, and promote the special literacy material that will be purchased for this program.
It is the goal of this partnership to develop collaborative programs designed to improve family literacy and parent involvement. Activities include:
- Hiring a librarian to coordinate materials, programs and schedules between the libraries, branches and target schools
- Purchasing a bookmobile so the library can deliver books and programs to the target schools, community centers and neighborhoods; professional materials for teachers and parenting materials will be included in the collection
- Providing copies of all books on the New Haven Public Schools Summer Reading Lists at the main library and branches
- Establishing a program to teach computer and Internet skills to support school research projects
- Scheduling target school groups for access to computer labs at branch libraries
- Purchasing laptops for school site activities
- Developing story-time kits and traveling book programs for schools and child care in the target school neighborhoods
It is the goal of this partnership to develop and execute a literacy initiative with the Driggs and Hopeville Schools called "Rally Around Reading _ Creating Families that Read" that will promote reading as a fun and worthwhile activity, encourage family reading activities, encourage library card registration and regular library use, and promote the public library as a supportive welcoming destination for families. Activities include:
- Professional performers will conduct reading related programs in the schools and library.
- Library card registration activities will take place at both schools.
- Each class at Driggs and Hopeville Schools will have six visits to Bronson Library.
- Classroom collections of popular books will be provided to encourage pleasure reading; there will be a change of collections four times during the school year.
- Parents will be offered Family Literacy training at both schools, provided by Literacy Volunteers.
- The library's "Early Reading Success Center" staff will visit both schools and provide programs at the "Early Reading Success Center".
It is the goal of this partnership to increase coordination between school-based and library-based programs designed to promote literacy among the families of the target schools. Activities include:
- Library based workshops for parents on helping with homework, project development, research etc.
- Travel support for parents to come to the main library for the initial kick-off and other special celebrations and ceremonies
- Provision of basic reference tools for parents, such as a dictionary and world almanac for their home, accompanied by instruction on usage
- Expansion of library resources such as book-cassette sets to facilitate literacy development, classroom size sets of books, video, CD-ROM and on-line resources to support school curriculum
- Expansion of library technology resources for homework completion, such as word processing, and Internet access
- Promotion of library card registration by visiting schools at report card conference time
- Expansion of parental accessibility to textbooks, worksheets, workbooks, and assignments, for each grade; materials will be available year round, so parents can use them during the summer to help prepare their children for the next grade.
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