Grantee: Pamela Hamlin, Family Literacy Specialist in the Youth Services Department of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (Largo, MD)
Description on how they used their DEY Mini-Grant:
Thank you for awarding the DEY Mini-grant to the Youth Services Department of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System! Our large, racially, ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse county has approximately 60,000 children under the age of five years old. There are Ready 2 Read Centers in all of our 19 branches, and they are intended to be used as family engagement play areas. They are early literacy spaces where very young children can enjoy literacy-rich, hands-on experiences and activities, such as blocks, dramatic play and puppets. Our library system strives to provide places for families to talk, sing, read, and play together every day! We hope that each family will see that play, nurturing interactions, and reading with their children, are the most important activities that caregivers can provide to prepare kids for school and life. These centers provide a safe environment for families to meet and share resources, while promoting the library as a fun place for free, lifelong learning and support. Families often use these Ready 2 Read Centers to gather and play before and after our Ready 2 Read Story-times. Our Story-times serve as a forum for family engagement and for modeling appropriate and fun activities for children and caregivers to do together at home. Librarians often use the toys from our centers in story-time and other library programming for young children and families. We used the DEY grant funds to refresh our centers with new toys and literature for caregivers.