Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library Receives 2020 ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way" Grant

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/25/2020


Jordan Dubin

Awards Coordinator



The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library is the recipient of the 2020 ALSC/Candlewick Press "Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved" Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 to develop Sensory Storytimes for immigrant families who are learning to navigate an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.

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

With this grant, the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library will develop a Sensory Storytime with special interest in serving immigrant families. In addition to the storytime, the library will also bring in speakers and add pertinent materials to their parenting collection. Monterey Park is a diverse suburban community where 75% of the community speaks a language other than English at home. The library hopes to be a safe, supportive space for families who are coping with a child’s diagnosis and seeking opportunities to connect with others in similar situations.

Co-chairs Erin Lovelace and Joe Prince state that, “Sensory Storytime at MPK is a thoughtful and compassionate program that serves the needs of an underserved population within an underserved population. We appreciated both the scope of the program and the sensitivity demonstrated toward the community's need. We are eager to learn of the program's impact, both short and long-term, on the community.” 

“We are very excited to expand our storytime offerings to provide a sensory storytime for families with children who have Autism spectrum disorder,” said Sensory Storyime’s program coordinator Kristin Olivarez, “We hope to establish a supportive and welcoming program that encourages literacy, parent/child bonding and community building, and connects parents and caregivers with resources and programs to help their children thrive.”

“Candlewick is pleased to be sponsoring the Light the Way Grant for the twelfth year. It is a privilege to be recognizing the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library’s Sensory Storytime, which exemplifies exactly the kind of program this grant was established to support. We want to express our gratitude to the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library for all the ways they address the unique needs of their diverse community,” said Jennifer Roberts, Vice President of Publicity and Marketing at Candlewick Press.

Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Mass. ( Candlewick publishes outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature emerita Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. 

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is driven by more than 4,000 members dedicated to the support and enrichment of library service to children. Our members include youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty. ALSC supports its members in engaging communities to build healthy, successful, futures for all children. To learn more about ALSC and how to join, please visit: .