2016-2019 Family Literacy Projects

August 2016

New York State’s 23 public library systems will offer expanded access to literacy services through the New York State Family Literacy Library Services Program. State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries Bernard A. Margolis, announced today that the State Library has approved the 2016-2019 projects, one project for each of New York’s 23 public library systems.  These three-year projects begin July 1, 2016 and end June 30, 2019.

Education Law 273 provides statutory funding of $300,000 annually for the Family Literacy Library Services Program.  The FY 2016/2017 State Budget provides an appropriation of $280,700. Funding is allocated to each system based on a formula.

lSee the State funds allocated annually to each library system for the 2016-2019 projects.

“New York State’s Family Literacy Library Services program helps libraries and library systems provide family literacy services to children and their parents or caregivers. The program’s theme for 2016-2019 is ‘Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems,’ stated Mr. Margolis. “Funded projects support library and library system participation in the State Library’s Ready to Read at New York Libraries initiative to increase library staff capacity in developing and delivering quality early learning services for families and caregivers. Young children and families, particularly those with high needs and/or those previously unserved, will benefit from these enhanced early literacy library services and resources.”

Through these Family Literacy Library Services Program projects, public library systems will offer training in the Ready to Read at New York Libraries:Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program and assist libraries in offering high quality early childhood programming and resources to their communities. The Ready to Read at New York Libraries initiative provides a training curriculum to develop lasting, research-based early learning services and re-imagined spaces for families with young children in public libraries across the state.

For more information about the program, contact Barbara Massago, in the New York State Library, Division of Library Development, at 518-486-4885.

Following are brief summaries of the 2016-2019 New York State Family Literacy Library Services Program projects.

Brooklyn Public Library - "Early Literacy Professional Development for BPL Staff" Building on its leadership in the area of early literacy, Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has developed  a comprehensive and intensive staff training program to improve services for young children, parents and caregivers. This training plan, based on the five Foundation Components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Staff Development Program will focus on improving the skills, knowledge and confidence of children's specialists, which includes children's librarians and children's associates, as well as other public service staff.

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library–“Ready to Read at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library” This program will enable the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library to improve the quality of public library early learning services to children, their families and caregivers in Erie County through providing staff training and early learning materials to member libraries. The five foundation components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program will form the core curriculum for library staff. Supplemental training will also be offered through area colleges, universities and professional agencies to supplement the core curriculum.

Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System–“Ready to Read in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties” Through this program member library staff will be trained to help parents gain an understanding of the importance of intentionally preparing their child to be ready to read before they enter kindergarten. Through training in the five Foundation Components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program, library staff will learn methods to incorporate the best practices of early literacy into programming for young children; incorporate enhanced support for young families into library services; create effective early learning spaces; and establish library partnerships and outreach in their communities.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System–“Ready To Read This Summer at CEFLS Member Libraries” This project will help libraries improve the quality of public library early learning services across this largely rural area through targeted training and resources. Project funds will be used to address and overcome barriers to full participation in Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program. In addition, requesting libraries will receive funds to supplement local materials and/or programmatic offerings for young children age zero to five. Throughout the project period, the library system will provide consultation, CE training, templates and other resources that will guide collaboration efforts with area schools and community groups.

Finger Lakes Library System –“Ready to Read @ the Finger Lakes Library System” The Finger Lakes Library System will follow the training plans and structure set through New York State Ready to Read at New York State Libraries: Early Childhood Public library Staff Development Program to assure early literacy skills will be a vital part of the 33 member library’s core values.

Four County Library System– “Training & Promoting Every Child Ready to Read” The purpose of this project is to train member library staff in the five Foundation Components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public library Staff Development Program and to encourage use of the information learned in the regular delivery of library services to their communities.

Mid-Hudson Library System –“MHLS Family Literacy Mini-Grant Program 2016-2019” This project will provide training for library staff in the MHLS region in research-based methods to improve early literacy in children birth-school entry. The outreach-based public library Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program will help practitioners update and upgrade their skills. To supplement this, select, related webinar training and eCourses will be provided. An Early Literacy Cohort will be created among member libraries to assist as capacity is built for libraries to provide early literacy services.

Mid-York Library System–“Early Learning Project” Libraries are a place to share books, play learning games, watch others, share wisdom, explore words, make friends and expand horizons. The Early Learning Project will focus on three components: 1.training for member libraries on early literacy, with a focus on Ready to Read at New York Libraries; 2.training for the youth services consultant and/or other early literacy staff as part of additional train-the-trainer; 3.grants to member libraries to create early learning spaces or additional programming to supplement early literacy space and resources in place.

Mohawk Valley Library System– “Ready to Read” This project supports training member library staff and volunteers who provide early literacy services in public libraries. Diverse training methods using the Ready to Read at New York Libraries components as a foundation, and education on 21st century early literacy library services for boards and administrators are core elements of the project. Additionally, an online tool will be offered to strengthen libraries connection with parents and caregivers by offering book and library program recommendations customized for each child.

Monroe County Library System–“Building a Strong Learning Community” Ideally, libraries can provide the support families need to be effective as their child's first teacher. It is therefore essential that staff build skills in both understanding and articulating the value of parental engagement in early learning. To accomplish this, Monroe County Library System is partnering with Pioneer Library System to provide training for member library staff.  The training will teach effective early childhood practices to help parents and caregivers give their young learners the foundational early learning skills necessary to achieve success in school. Training will focus on the Ready to Read at New York: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program,  and to complement this, will leverage the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council Strategic Plan and provide training that will focus on Strong Families, Healthy Children, and Early Learning.

Nassau Library System–“Ready to Read at NY Libraries through Public Library Systems” Public library children's librarians are in a unique position to impact the lives of very young children by supporting parents’ efforts to enhance their child's brain development and ultimately their ability to start Kindergarten ready to learn. The Nassau Library System will train member library staff in all five core components of the Ready to Read at NY Libraries Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program as well as assist them in creating plans and implementing projects based on the skills learned through this Program. When taught, the five components of the program will strengthen and enhance library staff’s ability to offer the best early literacy programs possible.

The New York Public Library–“Early Literacy Program” A system-wide early literacy training program for library staff, will equip children's librarians to use specially designed Early Learning Kits to guide a variety of programming and community outreach efforts at their local branch, including preschool visits, parent engagement opportunities such as conferences and fairs, and outreach to area homeless shelters.

Nioga Library System–“Library Gift (Generate Imagination in Families Today)” This program takes a two-pronged approach to inspiring children to read: 1. Train library staff in the five Foundation Components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program. This will equip library staff with the knowledge to assess their community’s needs and develop high quality programs to prepare young children in reading readiness. Training will include ways to develop collaborative partnerships with organizations in their community. 2. Help library staff educate families in the five essential activities that promote early literacy: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing.

North Country Library System–“Connecting with Caregivers: Building Early Literacy Skills with Families” Through a series of classes and mini-grants, North Country member library staff will strengthen their knowledge of early literacy practices, improve their early learning spaces, connect with parents and caregivers in their communities, and develop early literacy resources for families and youth-serving organizations.

Onondaga County Public Library–Get Ready to Read with Onondaga County Public Libraries” Through this project the Onondaga County Public Library System will impact early learning in the region through three key objectives: 1. Improve the early learning environments in library physical facilities; 2. Create opportunities for quality parent/caregiver engagement with young children through the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read; and 3. Enhance the expertise of library staff in understanding the needs of young children and families in their communities and developing partnerships and programs to help every child get ready to learn to read.

Pioneer Library System –“Building a Strong Learning Community” Pioneer Library System is partnering with Monroe County Library System on this joint project (see description under Monroe County Library System above).

Queens Borough Public Library–“Ready to Read at New York Libraries” Over the next three years, the Queens Library will engage in training its librarians and library service staff in various components of the State Library’s Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program. This training will help library staff in providing the best services to families with young children through the library’s Toddlers Learning Center (TLC) programs. The TLC programs combine children’s playgroup activities with learning opportunities for parents and caregivers. Professionals from such fields as nutrition, physical fitness, speech, early literacy and child psychology speak with adults, make simple referrals and give advice while children learn through interactive play stations. In addition, Queens Library will work with a consultant to provide evaluation and training services so that library staff can evaluate TLC programming.

Ramapo-Catskill Library System–“Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems” The purpose of this project is to enable Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) to carry out a multifaceted venture involving a series of programs, a selection of services and a variety of materials that will assist member library staff in developing and/or enhancing their early literacy programs. Member library staff will be trained in the five components of the Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program and incorporate the skills learned into providing better programs and services for families with preschool children. The target group is all library staff (including those not directly involved in serving families with young children) in all 52 RCLS member libraries and branches. Families with young children in the RCLS member library communities represent the secondary beneficiaries of the training and materials that will be provided to libraries.

Southern Adirondack Library System–“Early Literacy Staff Development Project” This project encourages public library staff to become community focused planners in order to develop and administer programs and services for young children, their families and caregivers. Through training in the five Foundation Components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program, library staff will have the opportunity to gain and improve skills and knowledge in early literacy techniques, learn strategies to develop community partners and evaluate programs and services for children and their caregivers.

Southern Tier Library System –“Looking Inward, Looking Outward--Becoming a Premiere Resource for Early Literacy” This project builds on the NYS Initiative, Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public library Staff Development Program and offers additional training and program support for staff to serve children (ages zero to five) and their parents and caregivers.

Suffolk Cooperative Library System –“Early Literacy at Suffolk Libraries” This program will focus on educating member library staff in the skills of Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Staff Development Program. Library staff will thus feel empowered to continually educate themselves, as well as the families of the children they serve, so all families with young children in Suffolk County gain a strong foundation for future learning and literacy skills.

Upper Hudson Library System – “Benchmarking Early Literacy Library Services” This programsupports training member library staff and, crucially, volunteers who provide early literacy services in public libraries. Diverse training methods using the Ready to Read components as a foundation, education on 21st century early literacy library services for boards and administrators, and materials for libraries are the core elements of the project. Additionally, the project supports an online tool enabling libraries to strengthen their connection with parents and caregivers by offering book and library program recommendations customizable to their child via email. The target groups are the library staff and volunteers serving families with young children, and the administrator and members of the board of trustees.

Westchester Library System –“Early Literacy Skills and Connections” This program takes a two-pronged approach to expand the capacity of member libraries in delivering enhanced early literacy programming. Its aim is to strengthen skills, provide insights on community needs, and foster strategic partnerships. The program focuses on 1.delivering professional training and fostering a dialog with member library staff about early literacy practices and challenges, and 2.providing to member libraries system-led outreach and analysis to both inform and to model ways to gain insight on community needs and foster strategic partnerships.

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Last Updated: May 24, 2017