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…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

How DC Public Library Plans to Increase Participation for Children with Disabilities

DC Public Library (DCPL) has a Center for Accessibility to serve individuals with disabilities. This center does a great job serving patrons in many capacities. But it only has one children’s librarian. This person cannot be expected to serve all 26 DCPL libraries alone so it is imperative that other children’s librarians also be experienced to serve a diverse population. We say “the library is for everyone,” but what efforts are we making to include all children. DCPL youth services librarians want more experience and training to reach more children. The Library is committed to 1) providing learning opportunities for staff to create more universal design programs; and 2) increasing the number of children with different abilities using our resources. Professional Development for Staff To help us with the training component of this endeavor, DCPL worked with Carrie Banks, the Supervising Librarian for Brooklyn Library’s The Place for Children &…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Guiding Pre-Service Teachers to Quality Literature for Underserved Populations

Twenty years ago, I graduated from college and entered the world of public education, bright-eyed and eager. After nearly two decades in that field, I returned to academia and began working with pre-service teachers at Bowling Green State University. It’s unsurprising that pre-service teachers want to know so much, and it often feels overwhelming trying to fill those gaps of knowledge. I’ve found myself, though, focusing on exposing undergraduate education majors to children’s literature that highlights and reflects the experiences of marginalized populations. 

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Year, New Connections

The holiday season is over. Brand-new smart phones, laptops and gadgets are in the hands of many young people. Despite the flood of tech presents that were gifted this season, it is important to be mindful that there are still many families that do not have reliable Internet access in their homes. For years, librarians have been talking about the digital divide, referring to the gap that exists between people who have access to computers and the Internet and those who do not. More recently, the focus has shifted to also include the quality of connection to the Internet. According to Pew Research Center, school-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third of households with children ages 6 to 17, whose annual income falls below $30,000 a year, do not have a high-speed internet connection at home. This is compared with just 6% of…