The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is currently involved in many projects and partnerships. Here are descriptions of some of our latest activities.
Kids! @ your library® Campaign
ALSC's campaign initiative builds on The Campaign for America's Libraries, the multi-year public awareness and advocacy campaign sponsored by ALA. Kids! @ your library® will provide promotion tips, sample press materials, downloadable art and other tools to help local libraries reach out to kids, their parents and caregivers.
ALSC and the Public Library Association (PLA) are working together on an early literacy initiative to prepare librarians to help children start school ready to learn. ALSC and PLA have incorporated the latest research in early literacy and brain development into a series of parent and caregiver workshops to provide libraries with vital tools to help prepare parents for their critical role as their child's first teacher. These tools were developed by Dr. Grover C. Whitehurst and Dr. Christopher Lonigan, well-known researchers in emergent literacy, and have been tested and refined by library demonstration sites around the country.
National "Drop Everything and Read" Day
April 12 has been proclaimed National "Drop Everything and Read" (D.E.A.R.) Day. It is an initiative to encourage families to designate at least 30 minutes to put aside all distractions and enjoy books together...to make it a special time to "drop everything and read." The birthday of Newbery Award-winning author Beverly Cleary is the official national D.E.A.R. day, and Cleary's most popular book character, Ramona Quimby, is the program's official spokesperson.
El día de los niños/El día de los libros
The celebration, held annually on April 30, emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for every child regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) continues to increase public awareness of this event in libraries throughout the country. ALSC continues to collaborate on this effort with the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). This site is also available en Español.
Boys & Girls Club Day for Kids
ALSC members participated in the Boys & Girls Club Day for Kids celebration on September 15, 2007. BGC Day for Kids is a day set aside each year to celebrate America's children through the gift of meaningful time with a positive adult.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America worked with public libraries to participate in this celebration by distributing their complimentary Making Memories Family Activity Calendar. In addition, libraries were encouraged to incorporate programming around BGC Day for Kids.
The mission of the day is about galvanizing national attention on the importance of spending meaningful time with children, something libraries do so well all year long. Further information is available on the Boys and Girls Clubs Web site at: http://www.dayforkids.org/
ALSC received two Carnegie-Whitney Awards from the ALA Publishing Committee. Both awards were used to revise the Born to Read brochure. Members of the ALSC's Preschool Services Education Committee assisted with the revision. The revised brochures are available now in English and in Spanish. Please contact the ALA Store at 866-746-7252.
The revision process involved evaluating current content and list of books, and creating new lists and content that may include, but are not limited to the concepts of: 1) dialogic reading; 2) phonemic awareness 3) early brain development, and 4) emergent literacy.
Born to Read is an ALSC project that builds partnerships between librarians and health care providers to reach out to new and expectant parents and help them raise children who are "born to read." Goals of the project are to help parents improve their reading skills and impress upon them the importance of reading to their children. The project also promotes greater public awareness of health and parenting resources in the library.
Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project that looks at how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. It is a national educational service of WETA, the flagship public television and radio station in Washington, D.C. Reading Rockets is funded by a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Click here for the Reading Rockets Toolkit for Libraries. To view the videos that accompany this toolkit, visit http://www.readingrockets.org/professionals/librarians and scroll down to the "Video Modules" heading. ALSC provided input into the development of the toolkit materials.
ALSC and Houghton Mifflin have created a new "Curious About . . . " story hour program designed to encourage children to come to the library to satisfy their curiosity. A Web site offers all the components a library needs to host a fun-filled reading event, including reproducible announcement flyers, bookmarks, and stationery, event suggestions, activity handouts, and recommended reading lists, created by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee, on various topics such as "Back to School" and "Cats and Dogs." Visit www.curiousgeorge.com and click on "Teacher/Librarian Resource Center."
ALSC and the Association for Children's Museums received an Institute for Museums and Library Services grant to convene "The 21st Century Learner: The Continuum Begins with Early Learning," which took place during the fall of 2003. The institute explored the importance of early learning in shaping lifelong learners. Other organizations involved in the grant were the Families and Work Institute and the Institute for Civil Society. Click here to access the White Paper developed from this Institute.
Center on Aging, Health and Humanities Grant
In 2003, ALSC received a grant from the George Washington University's Center on Aging, Health and Humanities as part of the Center's project, "A Public Education Program Targeting the Young about Potential with Aging." The ALSC Quicklist Consulting Committee created a list of books that present aging and older persons in a positive light, for children ages preschool to sixth grade. The list of books is at: http://www.ala.org/ala/alsc/alscresources/booklists/Book_List_SEA_GWU.doc
ALSC continues a collaborative effort with Between the Lions ™, a PBS children's series that aims to help teach children how to read. The series of 30 half-hour programs is named for a family of lions who run a library like no other on earth. The doors "between the lions" swing open to reveal a magical place where characters from books can pop off their pages and into the library when you least expect it. The backbone of the series is a comprehensive literacy curriculum, geared to beginning readers ages four to seven.
Between the Lions Fact Sheet