Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

English Learners Family Storytime

What do you do when your evening storytime is not drawing the crowd it used to? It might be time to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming and reevaluate. That’s exactly what we did at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, and the outcome is our new English Learners Family Storytime! Our regular Tuesday evening storytime was a sight to behold, with great picture books, fun songs, and colorful flannel board stories and rhymes. However, attendance was dropping. We knew we wanted to reverse that trend, but how? From the start, we recognized that families are busy with other after-dinner activities. We also recognized that our library serves a diverse community with multi-generational families who speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language. Occasionally, these children and caregivers struggled to communicate their needs with us at the service desk, and we knew this was an audience we wanted to cultivate and better…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Providing Mirrors, Windows, and Doors through Read-Ins

One of the main tenets of my teaching and my work with children, college students, teachers, and even parents is the importance to make children’s books about underrepresented groups as visible as possible. As someone who does not work at a library, I must do this through the courses I teach and through activities that involve the community. One such way is by hosting “Read-Ins.” So, what is a Read-In?

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Candlewick “Light the Way” Grant: Meet our Previous Winners

If you are wondering if your project would be a good fit for the Light the Way Grant you are not alone. I am going to share a bit about some of our most recent winners and a few pointers on what we look for when we are reviewing applications to help you create a successful application. What are we looking for? Unique & innovative programs Specific details about the population and its needs Thorough details about the proposed program with clear explanations of how the program fills the population’s needs in a way that isn’t currently being met Project coordinator has made community partnerships, but those partnerships only partially fill a need; we are looking for a demonstration of efforts to connect with others in the community in order to expand services Very specific timeline and budget A Few of Our Amazing Winners: New Carrollton Library, Literacy & Library…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant is now open!

Does your library need funding to launch or expand a service/program for an underserved population? Is your idea innovative and impactful to your community? Apply now for the Light the Way Grant! The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) are now accepting online applications for the 2020 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. This $3,000 grant, made possible by Candlewick Press in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, will go to a library conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done. Applicants must be members of the American Library Association and applications must be submitted by December 1, 2019.   Contact the co-chairs of the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee, Erin Lovelace and Joe Prince, with…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Checking in on the 2019 Light the Way Grant winner: Mess Hall on the Loose!

In January, after careful deliberation, the Library Services for Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) Committee awarded Jennifer Smith and the Suffolk Public Library with the Light The Way Grant, sponsored by Candlewick Press.    Smith’s proposed idea, Mess Hall on the Loose, included a weekly program in which children would take part in cultural outings or field trips in their greater community, opening them to new experiences that would enrich their lives.    Among some of their activities, the children have been able to learn how to play ukuleles, travel to the Virginia Air & Space Museum in Hampton, VA, visit a movie theater to see The Lion King – as the closest theater is half an hour away, and visit the Isle of Wight Land Farm, a working farm, to learn about agricultural processes.   If a picture is worth a thousand words, the following images are a…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Stomp Rockets: STEAM Done Cheap

I have recently learned the joys of stomp rockets, these super simple launching devices can lead to tons of scientific exploration and can be made for less than $2! So far this summer we have used these for a day long rocket launching program and a demonstration at a county run summer camp. The kids have been totally captivated. So our plan is to make a couple to drop off at the summer camp locations so the kids can experiment in their free time. This lead me to wonder where else would it be possible to have these cheap tools available for bored and curious kids? Since these have relatively low power they can be launched inside as long as the space has high ceilings so recreation centers, after school programs (cafeterias and gyms) and the like would be a perfect fit. Materials for Launcher: 2 pieces of 1/2 inch…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Helping Students Talk About Representation in Books for Children

One of my main goals as an educator has been to bring my students awareness about the need for more diverse books in classrooms, to expose them to some of these books, and to think about representation. My student population is comprised by many education majors. As our post from February 2, 2019 discusses, teachers need an understanding of how to select books that represent the diverse experience of many children. I wanted my students to understand not only how to read a book critically and analytically, but also how to evaluate good literature that is inclusive. So, the goal was not only to recognize the need for more diverse books, but to go a step further by recognizing how to evaluate the representations a book may present. Then, I wanted them to make connections to the real world and to further explore how children from underserved groups could be…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spring Ahead with Outreach Opportunities

Spring is Here! Prior to the start of Summer Reading Club, Spring is typically filled with planning for the busy summer months. However, this season also allows us time to evaluate existing library partnerships and motivation to create new meaningful connections in the community. When it comes to Youth Services Outreach, the possibilities are endless. There are so many passionate librarians that are thinking outside of the box and finding ways to reach all residents. There are inspiring stories of librarians offering storytime in laundromats or creating floating book collections in barbershops. There are even partnerships between libraries and grocery stores and foodbanks. It’s an exciting time to work in Outreach Services, as we can see the positive impact these efforts make in our communities. One of the most important pieces of Outreach, is establishing relationships. Visiting different daycares and classrooms throughout the year is wonderful, and a service that…