State Library Awards 2005-2007 Family Literacy Grants
State Librarian Janet M. Welch announced that 16 Family Literacy (formerly Parent and Child Library Services) grants, totaling $600,000, will be awarded to public libraries across New York State. These two year grants will help 51 libraries in 20 counties provide programs that will develop or expand library services for children, parents, and caregivers.
"Public libraries have a vital educational opportunity to support parents and caregivers in their unique role as children's first teachers. These grants allow libraries to develop and implement innovative community-based programs that address local needs," said Mrs. Welch.
Grant projects will:
- Offer a pre-school literacy program developed by another New York library through an earlier Family Literacy Grant
- Distribute donated books to high-risk families
- Provide a dedicated library space and collection for middle school students.
- Support homeschooling families by providing access to materials, equipment, and space for community events
- Expand resources and support for English as a Second Language students
- Involve children and their parents in storytelling programs, oral history projects, health and nutrition literacy programming, and computer skills classes.
All grant programs are done in cooperation with other local service providers and community organizations. This year's partners include schools, pre-school programs, civic organizations, businesses, and literacy groups.
"The Family Literacy Grants support low-cost, high-impact programs that will help New York's children, from birth through high school, improve literacy skills and meet New York State Learning Standards throughout their schooling," said Anne Simon, the State Library's Youth Services and Family Literacy Specialist. "Many of these programs work to close the achievement gap by providing services that support and complement the public school program."
The following is a list of the public libraries that received Family Literacy Grant awards:
Brooklyn Public Library (Kings County) $52,474 - Books and Cooks: Reading and Math Fun in the Kitchen
Brooklyn Public Library will develop and present a series of workshops for children in grades K-3 and their caregivers. Reading of books with cooking or food-related themes will be combined with the cooking of simple recipes. Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Brownsville Recreation Center, the New York City Housing Authority's Brooklyn Community Operations, and PS 217 will promote and recruit students and parents for these programs. The library will add children's cookbooks to their collections and produce a cookbook with recipes from workshops and participants.
Geneva Free Library (Ontario) $40,072 - Literacy Outreach Project
In partnership with the Finger Lakes Visiting Nurse Service, Geneva Housing Authority, and Agri-Business Child Development, the library will develop a literacy component to incorporate into existing services. Special events and story times, rotating collections/kits with the partner agencies, and increased outreach and in-house activities will increase both families' knowledge of the resources available to them, and the ability of staff with the partner agencies to direct families toward useful library services.
James Prendergast Library Association, Jamestown (Chautauqua) $14,688 (2005-06 only) - The Write Team (To Excel and Mentor)
Students in grades 4-6 enrolled in YWCA After-School Program and Chautauqua Striders will publish an on-line literary magazine to help increase their ability to meet NYS Regents Learning Standards, especially in English Language Arts. In the second year of the program, it will expand to include students from elementary and middle schools from across Jamestown, and students involved in the first year will begin to mentor those who are joining the program.
Lee-Whedon Memorial Library, Medina (Orleans) $25,900 - Family Stories: Past, Present & Future
Participants living in the Median Central School District will use various media to effectively research and record family histories and maintain personal journals, and family history specialist will share their expertise. The Medina Senior Citizen's Center, Medina Historical Society and Orleans County Genealogical Society will help the library present workshops and lectures, as well as acquire relevant materials for the library collection.
Middle Country Public Library, Centereach (Suffolk) $29,512 - Library Links: Connecting Family Home Child Care Providers, Families, Libraries, and Child Care Provider Services.
Middle Country Public Library will work with the Child Care Council of Suffolk, Family Service League, and Middle Country Central School Districts to introduce family home child care providers to the services available to them at the library to aid early literacy development. Through home visits, provider trainings, specialized resources, and ongoing support, Library Links will increase providers' knowledge of early literacy and child development, and the services available to them at the library.
Middleburgh (Schoharie) $26,176 - Serving Young Adults at the Library
Partnering with Middleburgh Middle School and the Schoharie County Homeschoolers, the Middleburgh Library will provide programs to encourage independent reading and improve literary and communications skills, including book and movie discussions. The library will acquire a Young Adult collection, recruit a Teen Advisory Board to aid planning and collection development, hold film screenings and film/book discussions for teens and parents,, and create a space dedicated to Young Adult patrons.
The New York Public Library (Bronx, New York, Richmond) $73,820 - Family Literacy Fun: Children, Parents and Caregivers Sharing Literacy Together
Programs for children in pre-K through grade two and their parents or caregivers, including workshop and literacy nights, will be offered at 15 branch libraries of The New York Public Library. Literacy Inc. and the New York Urban League will provide programming and outreach support, and New York City Dept. of Education's Parent Coordinators will assist in promoting the workshops. A brochure will also be developed to encourage family literacy, and materials purchased for the library collections will reflect the suggestions in the brochure.
Newark Public Library (Wayne) $24,412 - H.E.L.P.: A Healthy Enrichment Learning Program
Local schools, community organizations, and the Newark Public Library will offer healthy lifestyle learning kits and programs to families of children in grades pre-K to three. Both kits and programs will focus on enhancing reading and literacy skills along with teaching the basic knowledge of nutrition, physical activity and other information needed to live a healthy lifestyle.
Oneida Public Library (Madison) $32,400 - Working Together
New immigrant families in Madison County will be supported by a series of programs at the Oneida Public Library designed to support parents and children of all ages in adapting to life in New York State. Existing adult English as a Second Language programs will be expanded to provide homework help, reading programs and materials for children in ESL classes, and a computer lab will be established to provide computer literacy classes. Two other public libraries, two local school districts, and members of the Project READ Literacy Coalition will support library efforts.
Plattsburgh Public Library (Clinton, Essex, Franklin) $34,700 - Take a Bite out of Books Incentive Reading Program
This program is designed to prepare, promote and provide a recreational reading incentive program to middle school readers, their parents, and other "involved adults" through eight member libraries of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System. Students will form teams to participate in a "Battle of the Books" program, coached by adult volunteers. The libraries will also offer workshops for parents and update holdings of middle school and parenting materials.
Poughkeepsie Public Library District (Dutchess) $37,567 - Preschooler Learning Center
The Preschooler Learning Center project will provide library services that meet the early literacy needs of 3-5 year old children. The Preschooler Learning Center will include preschool story times, pre-literacy workshops for parents of preschoolers and eight Investigative Stations built on the Multiple Intelligences model of learning to help preschoolers to be ready to learn to read by the time they enter school.
Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia (Genesee) $31,460 - Community Literacy Coalition
The goal of this program is to develop community awareness of the importance of reading to young children. The library will organize the collection of donated books from local elementary schools and the distribution of those books to high-risk families by means of bookshelves at community service clubs, businesses and agencies serving children and their families. The project will also develop a "Learning Tree" kit to encourage children and their families to visit their library in order to participate in reading-related activities.
Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, Watertown (Jefferson, St. Lawrence) $39,584- Speaking of Stories: Oral Language as a Doorway to Literacy
Four participating libraries in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, with support from local school districts, businesses, and civic organizations, will present a series of linked programs to engage children in grades K-6 and their caregivers in talking about stories and literature. Programming will include storytelling workshops for children, parent-child book discussion groups, presentations by well-known authors, and battle of the books programs, as well as training for all North Country Library System staff on organizing and promoting this type of programming.
Town of Ballston (Saratoga) $24,454 - Books Make IT Happen
The Community Library and the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake O'Rourke Middle School will host book groups for middle school children and their parents or caretakers to discuss novels, graphic novels, and the movies adapted from them, with themes of diversity and acceptance. The participants will also be trained in digital photography and illustration, and work together to prepare original books based on themes from the program.
Utica Public Library (Oneida) $36,011 - TogetherNet
The Utica Public Library will develop a series of workshops targeted at parents with low literacy levels and their preschool aged children, to teach parents basic computer and internet skills and allow parents and children to explore educational websites together. The library will also add a collection of early literacy kits. This program is also being supported by a federal Library Services and Technology Act grant to the Mid-York Library System to develop early literacy programming. The HomeOwnership Center and Utica Weed and Seed, Mohawk Valley Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start, Thea Bowman House and the Universal Prekindergarten Program will also be supporting TogetherNet.
Webster Public Library (Monroe) $76,770 -Serving Homeschoolers
Four libraries in Monroe County -- Webster Public Library, Chili Public Library, Parma Public Library, and Greece Public Library -- will collaborate with Rochester Area Homeschoolers' Association, Loving Education at Home, and Catholic Homeschoolers of New York to increase library services targeted at homeschoolers. The libraries will offer instructional kits on specific topics, provide homeschooling families with a venue for displaying projects, offer workshops for homeschoolers and parents on library resources, and increase holdings of use to homeschooling families, including adding scientific equipment to the circulating collection.