#PLA2020 kicked off officially yesterday, but the first full day of sessions is today. What better way to kick off sessions than with Sunnyvale (CA) Public Library’s discussion on building inclusive Early Literacy Programs?
Sunnyvale (CT) is home to many big tech firms, and the city has a population of 153,000 – and only one library! The tech companies bring in employees from around the world, so the library serves an extremely diverse community.
The Mighty Beginnings program is for children ages birth to 24 months. The idea is a simple, cohesive program that can be easily replicated at home, and is available for free at the Library for parents who are home with their children. To promote the program to the children of working parents, they advertised it at local daycares and community centers.
The Pacific Library Partnership provided the library with an Innovation Grant to fund the program. The grant allowed the Library to purchase equipment and supplies for a physical giveaway. It included a welcome letter, a tote bag, a bib, a storytime magnet (which listed the dates/times of the 7 storytimes Sunnyvale offers), a board book, a board book, and a growth chart! The kits were assembled with the help of teen volunteers.
Every second Thursday of the month, the librarians transformed a room in the library to play space for parents and children. The play dates were themed; themes included ASL, Sensory, animals, nutrition, and music. Each week built on skills learned in the previous week.
You can download the Early Literacy milestones handouts and activity suggestion sheets from the Sunnyvale website. The handouts look great – and the tips and tricks are geared towards different ages/developmental groups!