Marshall Cavendish Excellence In Library Programming Award (HISTORICAL)
Waukegan (IL) Public Library
The Waukegan Public Library’s creation of an Early Learning Center (ELC) to meet the demands of a community affected by changing demographics and a lack of resources, especially for children ages 0-7, provided a model for community engagement. The Early Learning Center was designed to both support and celebrate its diverse community and to provide early intervention to help bolster lagging literacy rates among for children entering school so they enter school on par with their peers. Through innovative programming entitled, Championing Our Littlest Learners, The ELC program also focused on the importance of parents as “first teachers.” Elizabeth Stearns, assistant director of Community Services believes that this is especially important to help reinforce a commitment to continue pre-literacy skills, while providing a foundation for student success.