Blogger Meg Smith

Library Learning Leads to School Success

What youth services ideas do you hope to turn into reality this year? At our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, we have seen a need to increase the resources and support students receive so they may excel academically. Our School Success initiative developed into a formal project after assessment with our local public and charter schools, a staff-led focus group, and research to determine the needs of our student populations. We’ve applied for a grant to add technology and educational kits to our services and plan to add some new programming to encourage family engagement.

Here are some highlights from our proposal:

Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center will address the need for elementary and secondary student support through the development of our School Success initiative. This initiative features a 100 Days of School Celebration and the implementation of Learning Lab programming featuring laptops to provide homework support, opportunities to create through community involvement, and educational kits for students. Kick-Off to Kindergarten programming will provide school readiness exercises for prekindergarten students through puppetry, writing and reading activities, and educational games to support our youngest students.

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The introduction of Learning Lab programs will provide an opportunity for children, teens, and their families to utilize interactive learning tools and explore new technology. Grant funds will provide laptops and student-centered educational kits to reinforce core subjects. Materials available for program use will vary in subject matter and align with school standards. Advanced math, science and coding kits will support the secondary curriculum.

Learning Lab sessions will be offered at a variety of times, including after school, weekends, and during the traditional school day to serve individual classes, traditional students, and homeschool families. Learning Lab activities will be incorporated during our North Carolina Science Festival programs.

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We also hope to build in opportunities for artistic expression and encourage collaboration. With the opportunity to earn community service hours for their classes, high school students can learn the art of home economics and crafting skills. Students will create sleeping mats for individuals living in homelessness through a partnership with a local recreation center. Students can also create class projects using 3D printing.

Our School Success initiative will receive promotion through our Community Relations Department. Staff-led Word of Mouth promotion during children’s and teen programs will communicate these services to the public. We will implement a comprehensive outreach plan to target this promotion through programs and events throughout Cumberland County.

We are excited and hopeful about our School Success initiative to provide more resources to children and teens in Cumberland County. Please share your plans to add a new service or program within your libraries – your idea might be just the solution another library system needs to reach the people in their community, too!

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