In the youth services department at the Des Plaines Public Library, we proud of our relationship with the Westerhold Early Learning Center (ELC), which is a preschool centric building in district 62.
We have the ELC program, Baby Book Times, at the library where caregivers and babies have storytime and learn about important benchmarks in child development.
At the ELC, the library sends interns to provide library time, complete with storytime and book checkout.
Plus, at the end of the program, each child gets a book to keep for his or her own personal library.
It is through this partnership that we both are spreading the word about the importance of early literacy, and working toward the goal of school readiness for all children of Des Plaines.
When I started at the Des Plaines Public Library, the first internship saw 437 people for storytime and checked out 339 books per week.
Within 4 years, the program has grown in ways we could not imagine!
The Spring 2019 internship had . . .
664 people per week for storytime
587 prize books handed out to all children enrolled
3006 check outs over 7 weeks
As the ELC has grown, we have grown with it!
We now see children 5 days a week instead of 4.
We have replaced the old logo and red bag (maybe you have seen them around town), with a new green one.
And we have worked with great partners in Des Plaines, Kiwanis and Rivers Gives, to keep resources coming to the program.
Since I have started, 7 interns have gone through the program, and we are currently accepting applications for the fall.