It is rare that many community organizations come together for the benefit of one project, but that is what happened when Karen DeGennaro, Children’s Services Coordinator, at Pawling Public Library gathered together five other Pawling organizations to promote early literacy in pre-schoolers.
Through a grant from the New York State Library’s Family Literacy Library Services Grant Program, Ms. DeGennaro and Pawling’s library have partnered with local preschool programs at Christ Church on Quaker Hill, Mizzentop Day School, The Sunshine School, and Astor Early Childhood Program as well as Pawling Public Radio (through its Educational Community Outreach Committee), to bring the joys of reading and storytelling to the very young.
“Pawling Library is creating and presenting parent and caregiver workshops based on information from Every Child Ready to Read, a parent education initiative of the Public Library Association,”Ms. DeGennaro shared. “I will also be facilitating the follow up caregiver and child sessions where parents observe the skills they have learned in action and have an opportunity to practice these skills with their children. Parent & Caregiver workshops will take place on Friday evenings, and Caregiver and Child workshops will follow up on Saturday morning. The library is also creating a permanent program for parents to log their early literacy efforts called “Read Together.” The goal is to try to get parents to read to their children more effectively and more frequently and log the books they read to watch their efforts grow. There are benchmark recognitions throughout the program to encourage families to continue their efforts.”
Each preschool is assisting with parent and family outreach in order to bring this valuable educational resource to their students. Ms. DeGennaro will be attending several events at the participating preschools in order to present details of the workshops, their expected outcomes and the educational enhancements that can be achieved for those children and families who chose to take part in this worthwhile learning experience.
As one of the program partners, Pawling Public Radio will create opportunities for participating parents to come into the PPR studio at 26 East Main Street, in order to record stories for their children. PPR will then develop a special program called Sleepy Time Tales, which will be aired on Saturday and Tuesday evening from 7:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., featuring the recordings of participating parents.
“Allowing parents the opportunity to be on [our community] radio showing off their newly developed skills or natural talents will be a wonderful incentive for everyone! The evening bedtime story will be the perfect opportunity for a family literacy moment,” Ms. DeGennaro stated.
Sleepy Time tales will be heard on PPR Tuesday and Saturday’s at 730 pm.