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Supporting Education in the Community

Kenton County Public Library


The Kenton County Public Library supports life-long learning through literacy. This process starts in infancy when a parent sits with their baby to bond over a board book and continues throughout their life. The Library is proud to be a partner with children, teens and adults and be a leader in literacy efforts throughout Northern Kentucky. In fiscal year 2011/2012, the Library provided 7,076 programs which reached 129,069 children ages birth through high school. These numbers include programs in our library facilities, through our outreach services and programs offered at daycares, community centers, early learning centers and public, private and parochial schools. The following is a snapshot of how the Library undertakes these efforts.

Preschool Literacy begins at home, then it continues with the Library. Through in-house and outreach programs, the Library has provided 2,718 preschool programs which have reached 58,544 preschoolers ages birth through preschool. The Library has done this by: Providing weekly storytimes for babies, toddlers (age 2), and preschoolers ages three to five. In addition to reading stories, librarians are also modeling how parents can interact with their children when sharing a book, reflecting positive parenting techniques. Racing to Read outreach program. Racing to Read is a program designed by the Library to serve preschool children at day care facilities. The goal of the program is to introduce children to books and reading so they are prepared to learn how to read when they enter kindergarten. An RV and staff visit more than 40 day care centers each month to provide 1,200 children with stories, books and educational programs. Early Childhood Literacy Fair. Annually, the Library provides an opportunity for parents, care givers and teachers to learn more about literacy opportunities throughout the community. The object of the fair is to connect parents to relevant services for their family. The Fair also provides a quick and easy way for young children to be screened for learning delays that impact school readiness while the family enjoys a literacy-focused day together at the Library.

Discovery packs. These are kits that contain books, CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and manipulatives like games and puzzles. They cover themes and skills that are important for early childhood development: colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, family, community partners, music, dental health, animals, and more. Packs are available for both teachers and parents to check out and use.

In 1999, only 53 percent of children aged 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line.1 Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years2. To combat these statistics, the Library has developed comprehensive early literacy programming.

Elementary School Through in-house and outreach programs, the Library has provided 1,641 elementary school programs which have reached 39,929 children in grades kindergarten through sixth. We visit and provide service to the following districts: Covington Independent Public School District Beechwood Independent Public Schools Kenton County Public Schools Erlanger/Elsmere School District Ludlow Independent School District Schools of the Diocese of Covington Several other independent schools

Childrens lives get busier and busier as they get older and move into elementary school. Yet, spending time reading and learning is so important. The Library offers a variety of programs for school aged children in an effort to make sure that learning doesnt stop when they leave school for the day! Our school-aged programs provide opportunities for children to socialize together, to learn new skills, to have fun with crafts and games, and most importantly, to read. Nurturing literacy is something that the Library is uniquely positioned to do, and we work hard to fulfill this important mission in the community.
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The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education

Educational opportunities at the Library include: 760 students were enthralled by stories and round table discussions with Gary Schmidt, Newbery Medal Award winning childrens author. Puppy Tales. Did you know that reading to a dog improves a childs confidence level? Dogs provide an unbiased, non-judgmental audience. Children who attend Puppy Tales are motivated to read out loud, and they enjoy the experience. These factors combine to help them better reading skills. Chess Club provides students in grades one through twelve the opportunity to learn and play chess which aids in development of critical thinking skills. Reading Buddies was designed to help non-native English speaking children, or any child, who wanted to improve their reading skills. Children are paired with an adult reading buddy to read together choosing from a variety of popular literature and pop-up books. The AWE Early Literacy Stations are computers that are designed for children ages 2-7. They are loaded with educational software programs that teach children basic skills in language arts, math, science, music and art. One of the AWE stations is a bilingual station; with a touch to the screen, it can switch between English and Spanish, so that Spanish speaking children and their families can enjoy their use. Each Early Literacy Stations log, on average, 12-15 sessions per day; one session is 30 minutes of usage. That translates to approximately 36-45 young children per day using the Librarys Early Literacy Stations. Summer lunch. To reduce the summer slide, or summer learning loss, childrens staff visit schools and many community locations which provide summer programs for children. Statistics from summer 2012 indicate that we served more children (29% increase in attendance), checked out more books (25% increase in circulation at the summer feeding sites), and had more children complete their book logs (62.5% increase) than ever before.3 We provide curriculum packs to parents and educators. Curriculum packs are collections of materials designed to aid in learning and enjoying specific themes or topics. Included in each pack are several books, and other items such as DVDs or videos, CDs, CD-ROMs, and even games, models, or other learning tools. Kindergarten Kits each new school year, kindergarteners throughout the county receive a packet of information, including a library card application and book list. More than 2,500 children received a packet in 2012. These packets are delivered to the childrens schools by the library staff.

Statistics reference comparisons for Covington sites only as 2012 was the first year of the program for the Erlanger/Elsmere district.

The Library also provides services to schools, students and parents through the following online databases: Academic Search Premier, Learning Express Online Testing, Career & Technical Education, CultureGrams, Kentucky Virtual Library, Mango Languages, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, Student Research Center, WorldBook Encyclopedia Online just to name a few.

In order to provide unique programming such as some of those mentioned, Library staff continually seeks out grant opportunities. Recently the Library has received the following grants: PNC-United Way/Grow Up Great grant, Federal Summer Food Service Read and Feed program grant, a Mayerson Student Philanthropy Science grant and a grant from Dollar General for Reading Buddies. Homeschoolers In March of 2003, the Library began providing programs for homeschoolers. Programs are intended to be a form of literacy enrichment, utilizing books and literature owned by the Library and tying it in with various subject/curriculum areas by including educational activities, information and more. These programs also provide homeschool families a place to meet and exchange ideas. In 2012, the homeschool programs expanded with the Teaching Tools sessions. Sessions are designed to help homeschooling parents create tools to use to teach basic concepts. Each session works on a different concept- math, language arts, science and history/social studies. The goal is to have educators walk away with a bibliography of library resources for each concept, a list of sample ideas, actual tools/props to use when teaching the concepts at home.

Teens Through in-house and outreach programs, the Library has provided 473 school programs which have reached 8,969 children in grades sixth and older. We connect with all of the schools in Kenton County, including the Diocese of Covington and several independent school districts. Class visits support education by supplementing the school library. We bring materials into classes that schools may not be able to buy due to budget restrictions. By maintaining monthly visits, we create relationships with teachers and students so that we can always be first in their minds when they have research needs. We also provide unique programs inside the Library that keep teens talking and visiting. From Zombie Survival programs to overnights, teens can find their space and their voice at the library. Each library branch has a Teen Advisory

Council and a dedicated group of young adults that volunteer at the Library without hesitation. The library is also a source of community service hours required by many high schools. The library also maintains a list of the best college scholarship search sites, offers help on submitting the FAFSA form (financial aid) and an abundant supply of vocational tools to assist guidance counselors, students and parents.

Advanced Education/College In 2011, The Kenton County Public Library entered into a formal agreement with the Urban Campus of the Gateway Community & Technical College to provide services to their students. This partnership will provide students with supplemental resources and technology they need to further their advanced education. The Library also supports core curriculum needs as requested. The Erlanger Branch library has a collection of nursing-related materials for students in the health education courses of Gateways Edgewood campus. Requests have been made of staff to present throughout the state. Librarians have spoken to library instruction classes at Thomas More College, Gateway Community & Technical College and Northern Kentucky University. Other staff have presented at conferences on social media, technology, literature and more.

Adults Education can be a lifelong experience. The Kenton County Public Library provides monthly classes that inform and educate todays adults. One of the critical roles the Library assists in is by providing classes on software programs used in todays business environment. Excel, PowerPoint and Word are taught monthly. Beginner classes are also taught for those just getting started. Introduction to email, basic computer use and the Internet are also offered monthly. The Library also offers free access to creative programs including Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator and Photoshop through the Librarys online Learning Express database. Additionally, the Library has been providing GED classes for over 10 years and traditionally reaches over 700 library patrons a year.

For people exploring lifelong learning opportunities, particularly those interested in finding a new job or career, the library has become Job Search Central. Patrons register for classes including Job Research Skills, Target Your Resume and How to use LinkedIn. Most recently, job seekers have started visiting the Covington Branch for Job Search One-on-One on select weekend days to get personalized assistance with job research or updating resumes. Reference librarians maintain lists of the best free online sites to develop resumes, search for job openings or conduct company research.

Summer Reading Club All young people may experience some form of learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.4 For over 80 years, the Library has been a partner in combating summer learning loss with its Summer Reading Club. Originally a program for only children, the program has expanded to include teens and adults. In the summer of 2012: 6,292 children participated in the program using book logs in all locations for SRC 2012 1,837 teens were served all locations for SRC 2012 8,129 total reading logs were distributed to children ages 0-17 COMPLETED Reading Logs: 5,319 children ages 0-12 946 teens ages 12-17 6,265 Total for ages 0-17 complete SRC logs (65.5% return system-wide)

Thane Maynard from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden visits the Erlanger Branch Library during Summer Reading Club.

White, 1906; Heyns, 1978; Entwisle & Alexander 1992; Cooper, 1996; Downey et al, 2004.

Involved in the Community Kenton County Public Library staff work with or serve the following educational and community organizations: Baker Hunt Foundation Behringer Crawford Museum Biederman Education Center James E. Biggs Early Childhood Education Center Bluegrass Award committee with NKU/Steely Library Bright Future Enrichment Center The Carnegie Building Blocks Day Care Chapman Child Development Center Cincinnati Childrens Outpatient Center Cincinnati Museum Center Cincinnati Observatory Center City of Erlanger Covington Head Start Covington Partners in Prevention Crescent Springs Learning Center Daniel Beard Council Boy Scouts Edgewood Learning Center Elsmere Head Start Family Nurturing Center Family Resource Center committees at both Taylor Mill Elementary and Kenton Elementary Funshine Child Care Center Ft. Mitchell Child Development Center Gateway Community & Technical College advisory board Gateway Community and Technical College Child Care Gateway's Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee Gloria Dei Preschool Goddard School Grace Edgett Child Development Center Heavenly Daycare Hickory Grove Baptist Daycare Highlands High School Career and Technical Education and Practical Living Advisory Committee Holmes 180 Advisory Council Holy Cross Daycare Homeward Bound Housing Authority of Covington/HOPE VI Project Imagine Tomorrow Child Development Center Immanuel United Methodist Daycare Kenton County Parks and Recreation Kidz Club Kroger in the Silverlake Plaza Learning Leaders forum, which is part of the Greater Cincinnati Association for Training and Development Licking Valley Girl Scouts Little Red School House Marge Schott Boys & Girls Club/Covington Montessori & Early Learning Academy Mother Hubbard 2 Mustard Seeds Covington Notre Dame Urban Education Center Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce NKY Community Early Childhood Council Northern Kentucky Education Council OKI Childrens Literature Conference One-to-One Mentoring Board of Directors Redwood River RidgeChildrens Inc. Take Back the Night Teach Me to Grow Team IV Life-Long Learning Co-Chair Tender Steps Child Enrich. Cen. Texas Roadhouse Literacy initiative Toddler Town Transition's Inc. Treasure House Wee Bee Tots Youthland