2019-2022 Family Literacy Projects

July 2019

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. Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education Mark Schaming announced today that the State Library has approved the 2019-2022 projects, one project for each of New York’s 23 public library systems. These three-year projects began July 1, 2019 and end June 30, 2022.

Education Law 273 provides statutory funding of $300,000 annually for the Family Literacy Library Services Program. The FY 2019/2020 State Budget provides an appropriation of $283,776. Funding is allocated to each system based on a formula.

See the State funds allocated annually to each library system for the 2019-2022 projects.

The 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 2019-2022 is Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems Projects such as Innovative and Inclusive Storytimes and Kick Off to Kindergarten support library and library system participation in the State Library’s Ready to Read at New York Libraries initiative. These projects will increase the number of public libraries statewide with the expertise and resources to assist families with young children in developing necessary early literacy skills.

For more information about the program, contact Natalie McDonough, in the New York State Library, Division of Library Development, at 518-486-2194.

Following are brief summaries of the 2019-2022 New York State Family Literacy Library Services Program projects.

Brooklyn Public Library - "Early Literacy Professional Development for BPL Staff"
Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) seeks to infuse new topics into its successful "Early Literacy Professional Development for BPL Staff" 34-session training series, a comprehensive and intensive program that will improve BPL’s services and programming for children, parents, and caregivers. BPL’s training plan will focus on improving the skills and knowledge of some 103 children’s specialists, including children’s librarians, children’s associates, and other public service staff. The program will encompass four training components: 1) Foundations in Early Literacy: based on the 2016-2019 literacy project cycle and offered annually to interested new staff and non-children’s specialists, 2) Special Topics in Early Childhood: an annual focus on media mentorship in early childhood, families experiencing poverty, homelessness, or other childhood adversaries, and young children with disabilities 3) Everyone Serves Young Families (ESYF): an overview of child development and customer service strategy training for all public service staff; and 4) attendance at the annual NYC Young Child Expo & Conference.

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library – "Ready to Read at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Libraries: Playing and Growing Together"
The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library (B&ECPL) will focus on improving the quality of public library early learning services to children and their families and caregivers in Erie County. The B&ECPL believes that early literacy intervention can help combat the challenges facing local youth, helping to provide a strong foundation for later success in school. All B&ECPL member libraries will focus on enhancing early learning programming that provides parents and caregivers the tools needed for their children to grow, discover, and learn. B&ECPL will provide staff training focused on the Ready to Read initiative, including completion of the two remaining Foundation Training Components as well as new trends and research in the field of early learning.

Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System – "Improving Early Literacy Services"
Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System (CCLS) will offer a variety of training sessions such as Mother Goose on the Loose and Sensory Storytimes to help member library staff learn best practices for expanding storytimes by incorporating the needs of the whole child through music and movement and reaching out to and welcoming young children with developmental delays. Training will also help library staff to provide age-appropriate digital resources and engage families in library activities that promote early learning.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System – "Ready To Read at CEFLS Member Libraries"
This project will help Clinton Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFLS) and member libraries improve the quality of early learning services across this rural region through targeted training and resources. The groups to be served during each year of the project include library staff at 30 member libraries and 3 reading centers, as well as approximately 2,500 young readers aged 0-5 and their families/caregivers. CEFLS will provide resource support to supplement local materials and/or program offerings for families with young children age 0-5, particularly in the busy summer months. Throughout the project period, CEFLS will also provide consultant help, staff training, templates, and other materials that will help guide collaborative early literacy efforts with area schools and community groups.

Finger Lakes Library System – "Inclusive Early Literacy in the Finger Lakes Library System"
Using the foundation of Ready to Read at New York Libraries, the Finger Lakes Library System (FLLS) will enhance the capacity of member library staff for inclusive early literacy work in their communities. Professional development opportunities focusing on inclusive early literacy practices, such as collection diversity audits and sensory storytimes, will be offered and the System’s electronic and floating physical collection will be enhanced with supporting materials, such as professional books and read-along picture books. Member libraries will also be able to apply for mini-grants to support their early literacy collections, spaces, and partnerships.

Four County Library System – "Building Capacity for Member Library Service to Families with Young Children"
Having used the Ready to Read at New York Libraries training modules to equip member library staff with the knowledge they need to provide excellent service to families with young children, this project will provide member libraries with funds and further training. A workshop will be led by a nationally recognized expert in early literacy, and member libraries will have opportunities to apply for funding to implement projects that will allow them to enhance and expand existing resources and programs for families with young children.

Mid York Library System – "Early Literacy in Libraries"
Libraries (and early learning spaces) are a place to share books, play learning games, watch others, share wisdom, explore words, make friends, and expand horizons. Early literacy centers are places to launch a child's journey to school success. The Mid York Library System (MYLS) project Early Literacy in Libraries 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 youth services consultants and/or other early literacy staff as part of additional train-the-trainer sessions; and (3) funds to improve early learning spaces and provide additional literacy materials.

Mid-Hudson Library System – "MHLS Family Literacy Mini-Grant Program 2019-2022"
Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) will provide 66 member libraries with the staff training and resources necessary to assist families with young children in developing the early literacy skills needed to succeed in the future. The outreach-based public library Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development program and additional resources will help library staff update and upgrade their skills. MHLS will also form an Early Literacy Cohort of 30 trained staff. The implementation of this program will provide public library staff in the MHLS region with the training and resources needed to make the library a vital community partner and hub for early learning in their community.

Mohawk Valley Library System – "Ready to Read at New York Libraries"
"Ready to Read at New York Libraries" will support training for library staff and volunteers who provide early literacy services for families with young children in Mohawk Valley Library System (MVLS) member libraries. Library staff and library volunteers will learn methods to incorporate the best practices of early literacy into quality programming for young children and their families, with emphasis on using STEM, STEAM, and Diversity elements, provide material support for early literacy programming both in the library and in the community, and establish library partnerships and outreach for families with young children within their communities.

Monroe County Library System – "Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program"
Monroe County Library System (MCLS) has been working to grow children's services staff through the Ready to Read at New York Libraries Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program. The next phase for MCLS will focus on expanding support and training for new and existing staff, enhancing collections, and reaching out into the community to share library expertise and increase awareness about early literacy. MCLS will use staff feedback to create program kits, experiment with new technologies, and utilize Project Outcome to assess success. MCLS, along with the Rochester Regional Library Council (RRLC), has already begun to look at inclusive services, offer training, and formed an Inclusive Libraries Committee. Using information on programming and collection development, MCLS will again partner with RRLC to provide training and support to ensure member libraries are inclusive in serving the early literacy needs of all young families within each community.

Nassau Library System – "Ready to Read at NY Libraries Through Public Library Systems"
Nassau Library System (NLS) will work to train and support the staff in member libraries who work with children by helping them to provide programs and services that overcome barriers created by socioeconomic circumstances, culture, language, gender, ability, and other diversities. NLS will build upon the work that has already begun in enhancing library staff knowledge of early brain development, social and emotional learning, and early developmental milestones so library staff can provide outstanding parent and child programs for birth to age 5. NLS will support member library programs and services in digital learning, STEM, and new and evolving technologies. NLS will also work with partners to deliver services to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Nioga Library System – "Hacking Storytime: Creating Innovative and Inclusive Storytimes and Libraries"
The Nioga Library System (NLS) Hacking Storytime: Creating Innovative and Inclusive Storytimes and Libraries project will create inclusive and innovative environments and programming for children and their families across Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties. NLS will provide staff training for member library staff and will also offer mini-grants for each library to purchase materials to support inclusiveness, innovation, play, and early literacy. Training workshops will focus on using sign language during storytime, serving non-English speaking families, and early STEAM Learning.

North Country Library System – "Community Campaign: Talking is Teaching"
North Country libraries will maximize the impact of their early literacy programs by identifying and partnering with community organizations who serve as trusted messengers for families with young children. The North Country Library System (NCLS) will support these partnerships by providing posters, informational handouts, and early literacy materials such as books and activities for children under five and their families. Additionally, NCLS will partner with the North Country Prenatal Perinatal Council to provide early literacy materials to families who receive home visits from that agency.

The New York Public Library - "Early Literacy Printed Materials"
The New York Public Library (NYPL) Early Literacy programs help children develop a love of reading and learning while building the capacity of caregivers and educators to support school readiness and grade-level literacy. A robust portfolio of responsive educational resources for distribution and circulation further promotes the joy of reading and learning for the youngest patrons and encourages caregivers to nurture lifelong literacy habits. This project will provide printed materials for NYPL’s expanded early literacy outreach efforts such as Early Literacy kits, posters, and booklets. NYPL will use these outreach materials in a variety of in-Library programming as well as offsite preschool visits, caregiver engagement events (conferences, fairs, etc.), and outreach to area homeless shelters.

Onondaga County Public Library – "Promoting Early Literacy Through Onondaga County Public Libraries"
This project will help libraries in Onondaga County further improve the quality of public library early learning services for young families through targeted marketing, staff training, and specialized resources. Through partnerships with the Early Childhood Alliance, Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL) will create six new billboard campaigns (two each year for three years) to attract families to the library. OCPL will also use social media to target families with young children. Staff training will also be a major priority to assure member library youth services staff are up to date on current early literacy trends and initiatives.

Pioneer Library System – "Early Literacy at Pioneer Libraries"
Public libraries are a trusted early literacy resource in their communities and vital to families with young children in learning how to support early literacy skills in the home. Therefore, library staff must have training to assist parents and caregivers in their roles as their child’s first teachers and to create quality early literacy services. Pioneer Library System (PLS) will provide member library staff with training that demonstrates effective early childhood practices, focusing on early literacy skills and using the "Ready to Read at New York Libraries: Early Childhood Public Library Staff Development Program." Nationally recognized experts in the early literacy and learning fields will deliver four mini-workshops, one each in Ontario, Wayne, Wyoming and Livingston counties over the three years of the project.

Queens Borough Public Library – "Kick Off to Kindergarten (K2K) at Queens Library"
The Queens Library (QPL) will offer the Kick Off to Kindergarten (K2K) program, providing parents and caregivers with the tools and best practices need to support young learners’ cognitive and social development. K2K draws on compelling research about early childhood skills that are most predictive of kindergarten readiness and school success. K2K is a series of eight 90-minute weekly workshops for young children and their parent or caregiver. After each class, parents are gifted a book to take home and read with their child increasing the family children’s book collection by eight at the final workshop. K2K encourages parents/caregivers to read, talk, sing, and do crafts with their children between classes to develop the child’s pre-reading and early literacy skills.

Ramapo-Catskill Library System – "Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems"
Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) will implement a multifaceted project involving a series of training 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 and spaces. The target group is all library staff (including those not directly involved in serving families with young children) in all 47 RCLS member libraries. Families with young children will benefit from the staff training and the early literacy materials purchased as part of this project.

Southern Adirondack Library System – "Ready to Read at New York Libraries through Public Library Systems"
Training, workshops, and webinars provided by the Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) will support and educate staff at member libraries in developing new research-based early literacy services and enhancing existing early literacy services. SALS will also support libraries in providing Community Baby Showers, which will allow libraries to directly provide Early Literacy training to parents and caregivers. Additionally, each participating member library will have access to Early STEM learning materials and the most current educational materials to support staff in learning and applying new research-based early literacy techniques, programs and services.

Southern Tier Library System – "Redux-- Becoming a Premier Early Literacy Resource"
REDUX: Becoming a Premier Early Literacy Resource will continue to enhance early literacy programs in the communities of the Southern Tier Library System (STLS) by focusing on the existing strengths of local library staff - presenting programs for children ages 0-5 and their parents/caregivers. STLS will offer foundational components of Ready to Read at New York Libraries and other training opportunities to member library staff to build new early literacy skills, techniques and practices and increase practitioner confidence.

Suffolk Cooperative Library System – "Ongoing Support for Early Literacy in Suffolk County Public Libraries"
Suffolk Cooperative Library System (SCLS) will continue to foster the development and knowledge of skills pertaining to Early Literacy programs, services, and outreach in public libraries throughout Suffolk County. In the previous project cycle focusing on Early Literacy, SCLS brought new skills and ideas to member library staff by providing professional development opportunities and by adding resources to the SCLS Lending Library. During the 2019-2022 project, SCLS will provide similar opportunities for new library staff to learn and develop early literacy skills and knowledge but will also build directly on concepts covered in the trainings and resources already provided.

Upper Hudson Library System – "Hello Library!"
The Upper Hudson Library System (UHLS) "Hello Library!" project will increase the staff expertise and resources available in Albany and Rensselaer County public libraries to assist families with young children in developing the early literacy skills. Diverse training for staff covering the core Ready to Read components, education on 21st century early literacy library services for boards and administrators, and materials for libraries are key elements of the project. Another major feature is a system-wide series of BIG Library Play Days, collaboratively marketed and building on the great success of the 2018 Upper Hudson Library Expedition. BIG Library Play Days offer a fun and exciting activity designed to promote the five early literacy skills, connect parents and caregivers to libraries, and facilitate supportive parent relationships within the community. Each Library’s BIG Library Play Day will also include at least one regional partner organization, whose staff will be present to share parenting information.

Westchester Library System – "Early Literacy Outreach Supported by Collection Development and Programming"
Westchester Library System (WLS) will leverage ongoing work to promote engagement of families in early literacy programming. The project encourages the use of digital resources to support early literacy programming in libraries that currently serve communities with significant numbers of low-income and/or Spanish-speaking families with preschool children. To this end, WLS will: (1) Purchase collections of Findaway’s Pre-K Launchpads for use in target libraries, i.e., those with whom the system has worked to support early literacy outreach at Head Start/Early Childhood centers; (2) Provide a forum for discussion among library staff on the use of digital resources in the context of early literacy and its programming, and (3) Promote awareness of the importance of early literacy and the library’s role in it by making bilingual promotional materials (print, video, social media, web) available to libraries, Head Start/Early Childhood Centers, and community partners.

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Last Updated: August 5, 2019