Hartford (Conn.) Public Library awarded 2013 Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/07/2013


Caroline Jewell

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

1-800-545-2433 ext.5839


CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2013 ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant to the Hartford Public Library, Hartford, Conn.

This grant is designed to encourage outstanding summer reading programs by providing financial assistance, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development.  The program must be open to all children from birth to age 14. Programming that provides for inclusion of children with physical and mental disabilities is encouraged.  This $3,000 grant is made possible by Baker & Taylor, a leading distributor of books, videos, and music products to libraries, institutions and retailers.

The city of Hartford is struggling with a high level of poverty, child abuse, illiteracy and a low graduation rate.  Hartford youth lack substantial summer learning opportunities and each year drop an estimated three months of learning during the summer hiatus. The Hartford Public Library will use the grant funds to develop a Summer Reading Program for ages 18 and younger and those with special needs. 

The program will feature collaboration with the schools to run for 11 weeks, which ensures a seamless continuum of learning with no summer loss.  This program is part of the city-wide Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading (HCGLR) and the Hartford Public Schools (HPS) Third Grade Promise to provide uninterrupted learning opportunities for at-risk and low-income youth in order to improve grade-level reading proficiency. Additional sessions for special needs families will offer programs adapted to fit various disabilities and those needing different types of sensory stimulation.

“The committee is extremely excited about this Summer Reading Program which involves readers for eleven weeks, providing uninterrupted learning throughout the summer,” said Nancy Baumann, Grant Administration chair.  “This program truly reaches children from birth to eighteen with a focus on reaching those who need readiness skills to teens who prefer intellectual and creative activities.”

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 4,000 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 website at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2013 ALSC Grant Administration Committee include:  Nancy Baumann, chair, University of Missouri School of Information Science & Learning Technologies; Krista Britton, Prince William (Va.) Schools; Jonathan Hunt, Modesto (Calif.) City Schools; Julie Danielson, Smyrna, Tenn.; Ursula Jacobs-Guidry, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, N.C.; Amy Koester, St. Charles City-County Library District, Mo.; Deanna Mae Romriell, Salt Lake City (Utah) Public Library; Patty Saidenberg, New York, N.Y.; and Destinee Sutton, King County Library System, Burien (Wash.) Library.