Bruening Supports Libraries’ Family Engagement Efforts

Bruening Supports Libraries’ Family Engagement Efforts

At its August 2017 meeting, the Bruening Foundation made several Strong Start grants to support the family engagement efforts of local library systems and harness the power of library staff to promote and encourage parents in their role as their child’s first teacher.

The Cleveland Public Library (CPL) received a $300,000 grant (over two years) to implement an early literacy training initiative for library staff based on the Every Child Ready to Read program developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).  The purpose of the training will be to provide library staff at 27 CPL branches and the main library with the tools and knowledge to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of early literacy and how to nurture pre-reading skills at home.

The Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) received a $49,700 grant to providing training on child development and family support to children’s library staff through the research-based Family Place Libraries (FPL) program.  Bruening Foundation support will allow staff at 8 CCPL branches to receive FPL training — Brooklyn, Brook Park, Garfield Heights, North Olmsted, Parma Snow, Parma Heights, South Euclid, and Southeast (Bedford), in addition to the 4 CCPL branches where staff has already been trained (Fairview Park, Maple Heights, Warrensville Heights and Parma).

The Bruening Foundation also awarded an additional $25,000 grant to CCPL to pilot the Play, Learn & Grow Baby Club (PLG) program, which will be targeted to low-income families and offered at the Maple Heights and Fairview Park branches.  The PLG program will provide parents of children ages birth to 3 years of age with practical tools to promote their child’s cognitive development.  Goals of the 5-week program are to increase the quality of parents’ interactions with baby; promote baby’s language development; and increase the frequency of family playing, talking, singing, reading and writing activities.