Over the next three years the Rochester Hills Public Library will receive funds and assistance to implement and evaluate Family Place Libraries, a library-based early childhood and family support service model.
The library is one of 28 across seven states that will share the $450,000 National Leadership Grant awarded to the Middle Country Public Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Demonstration grant— for projects that produce a replicable model— was awarded to support their Family Place Libraries™ initiative.
"This prestigious Demonstration grant acknowledges the power of the Family Place initiative and equips us with the necessary tools to implement our progressive model nationwide," said RHPL Director Christine Lind Hage.
Starting in December, Middle Country Library staff will work the Rochester Hills Public Library to implement and evaluate Family Place Libraries.
First teachers and lifelong learners
Family Place Libraries is a multi-phase initiative that will focus on parents and caregivers as first teachers.
Organized around the developmental needs of the child, it will link library services with other regional and local family support agencies.
The program emphasizes libraries as key institutions within the early childhood and family support community and partners in the promotion of healthy child and family development.
"Libraries offer patrons a plethora of resources and tools, many of which target children during the very early critical years of their development," said Hage. "Our goal is to develop lifelong learners while fostering home/library/community connections, to provide community support for families with very young children."
It starts at birth
Children begin learning literacy skills right from birth. Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write.
Researchers have identified five practices of READING, TALKING, SINGING, WRITING and PLAYING that parents can use with their child every day help develop the foundational skills that children need to enter school ready to learn.
The Library’s Explore Zone is chocked full of activities, toys and books that help parents work with their child.
“Our goal is to have parents come to the library at least once a week to work with their children with the resources available in the Explore Zone,” said Manager of Youth Service Jaclyn Miller.
The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and 3 blocks east of Main Street. The library is open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturday and from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays.
The library’s website (www.rhpl.org) has information on how to register for a card and access all of the library’s services. For more detailed information on the Library’s early literacy services visit www.rhpl.org/youth/raiseareader .