For immediate release | February 7, 2012

Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library wins 2012 Light the Way Grant

CHICAGO– The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the Library Services to Special Population Children and their Caregivers are pleased to announced that Memphis Public Library & Information Center is the recipient of the 2012 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their "Read With Me, Sign With Me" project.

The Light the Way Grant, which honors Newbery medalist and Geisel winner Kate DiCamillo, is now in its fourth year. Although originally conceived as a one-time award, it has continued to be presented with the kind generosity of Candlewick Press.

Memphis Public Library & Information Center plans to use the money to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community in Shelby County. “The primary goal of the project will be to provide families of deaf and hard of hearing children with tools and motivation to increase literacy of deaf and hard of hearing children, who statistically top out at 4th grade reading level,” according to the application.

The library will partner with the Deaf Family Literacy Academy of Memphis to provide a plethora of services and materials. The committee was excited about this well written, well thought out grant application that includes early literacy workshops for parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing featuring sign language interpreters as well as expanding existing storytimes for this population. Through the collaboration, they will also provide an outreach program for family members, adults and teens.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s Web site at

Members of the 2012 ALSC Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee include: Paula Holmes, chair, Upper St. Clair Library Board, Penn.; Betsy Dalton, San Antonio (Texas) Public Library; Deborah Sandler, King County Library System, Wash.; Teresa Prendergast, Vancouver (B.C.) Public Library; Africa Hands, Louisville, Ky.; Amy Johnson, University of Las Vegas-Nevada; Tricia Twarogowski, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio.