The Library announced this special project earlier this month (April 2014) at the YWCA Northwest Ohio. The initiative is designed to concentrate on improving the early literacy skills of area pre-school children and assisting parents, grandparents, teachers and caretakers in this focus. Library officials are especially proud of the great selection of bilingual books on the van and throughout the system. There are Spanish language versions of the parent kit, the Busy Book and the brochure aboard the van, that are all being used for training.
Ohio statistics show that nearly one-third of Toledo-area children are not prepared to enter Kindergarten ready to read and write.
Without the proper help and support, many of these children will never catch up. There is a clear need to focus on school readiness, and the Library and LLF are ready to assist the community.
To date, LLF officials have raised 83 percent of their financial goal of $2.2 million. The first phase of the “Planting a Seed to Read” campaign will fund the “Ready to Read” specialty van, which is scheduled to hit the streets of Lucas County in April. This project will bring essential early literacy skills and training to the areas of our community that are most at risk.
Ready to Read project features:
• A specially equipped library van to bring library materials into target neighborhoods. Local award-winning children’s book author/illustrator Denise Fleming’s artwork from her book Alphabet Under Construction will be featured on the Ready to Read van
• Children’s librarians to facilitate Ready to Read training for parents and teachers
• Early literacy kits designed for parents and childcare teachers -
• Technologies that stimulate and encourage reading
• Books and materials for families to use at home
• Early literacy outreach programming for Head Start programs, childcare providers, shelters, hospitals and other agencies with an interest in young children
• Unique literacy corners specifically for children up to age five to be added to central city branch Library locations
• A future endowment (Early Literacy Fund) to sustain early literacy initiatives and projects
For more information on the Ready to Read van, please visit toledolibrary.org or call Outreach Services at 419.259.5350.
For more information or to contribute to the “Planting a Seed to Read” ongoing campaign, please call 419.259.5123 or e-mail [email protected]