Ways to Give

From our Program Venture Fund: Community Liaisons $5,000

The achievement gap in Madison Metropolitan schools is no secret. We know that low-income students (many of whom are students of color and English Language Learners), are not achieving academically at the same level as their middle-income (predominantly white, English-speaking) peers. Research confirms that this gap begins before students even enter school, which highlights the importance of early childhood education, especially early literacy experience.
 
At every Madison Public Library storytime, Librarians who have been trained in early literacy techniques for children ages 0 – 5 share tips and model behaviors that any parent and caregiver can use at home with their child on a regular basis. Librarians share information on child development and help parents and caregivers feel empowered in their incredibly important role as a child’s first teacher. The 8 Youth Services Librarians that Madison Public Library currently has reach thousands of parents and caregivers every year, but there are still thousands more that need to be reached. It is especially difficult for Library staff to share messages about early literacy with the Spanish-speaking community and other non-English speaking communities, as language can be a major barrier.

In order to address these challenges, the Madison Public Library Youth Services department would like to develop a corps of early literacy community liaisons that would help to expand the library’s reach into these non-English speaking communities. In the initial pilot, the library would choose 5 community members (at least 3 who are from the Spanish-speaking community and one Hmong) to receive 16 hours of training on early literacy, child development, children’s literature, library resources, and performing developmentally appropriate storytimes. For this initial group of community liaisons, the library will approach community members with whom we already have relationships or who come highly recommended by trusted community partners. After successful completion of this training, the community members will perform a 10-week storytime series at either a neighborhood library or a community center/neighborhood gathering place as an official contractor with the library. Efforts will be made to include book checkout and library card sign-up at each of these locations, as well.

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If you have a donor-advised fund through Fidelity Charitable or Schwab Charitable, you can make a gift directly to Madison Public Library Foundation through DAF Direct.

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