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The Barrow Book Partnership: An innovative, dual approach to building partnerships and early literacy across our community


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Presenters: Kelli McDaniel, Beth McIntyre.
Presented at the Georgia Libraries Conference in Columbus, GA on 10/06/2017.
The Barrow Book Partnership (BBP) began in 2016 as a unique, dual approach and joint community partnership to promote and encourage early literacy in Barrow County’s children.

Published in: Education
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The Barrow Book Partnership: An innovative, dual approach to building partnerships and early literacy across our community

  1. 1. TheBarrowBookPartnership An innovative, dual-approach to building partnerships and early literacy across our community.
  2. 2.  Collaborative partnership that aims to increase early literacy development and school readiness of the low- income population of Barrow County. Our Partners: Who is the BBP?
  3. 3.  Collaborative partnership that aims to increase early literacy development and school readiness of the low- income population of Barrow County. Our Partners: Who is the BBP?
  4. 4. Background: How did all of this start?  Approximately 61% of low-income families do not have ANY age appropriate books in their homes*  Partnership began as an attempt to close the inequality gap in literacy development by making books more accessible to Barrow County’s low-income families  Officially started January 25, 2016 * Flowerday,T. & Schraw, G. (2000).Teacher Beliefs About Instructional Choice: A phenomenological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 141-153.
  5. 5. What do we do?  Unique dual-approach  Provide free books for families to build their own library at home  Also provide free library card sign-ups and information on library programs and services so families can access everything we have to offer  Provide early literacy education to parents to encourage talking, reading, and interacting with children during their most critical stage of brain development
  6. 6. 1stYearGoals:  Have at least 1 library card in 50% of the Barrow CountyWIC and Child Find participant households by December 2016  Have at least 1 library card in 75% of participant households by June 2017  Provide each child targeted with an age appropriate book  Provide targeted families with library information and access to a library card.
  7. 7. How did we accomplish this? It’s a team effort.  Received a generous initial grant of $10,000 from the Luther and Susie Harrison Foundation  Local organizations like the Winder Clothes Closet, various churches, and businesses donated new or gently used board books to stock Book Nooks and made book birdies  Library staff and BBP volunteers committed time to speak toWIC classes and do library card sign-ups  Partnership regularly meets every other month to discuss ongoing projects, grant reports, etc. AN Connect Book Drive and Donation
  8. 8. WICClasses at the Barrow County Health Department  The Majority of our efforts are focused on the Health DepartmentWIC Classes  WIC population includes mostly low-income prenatal women and families with children 0-5  There are nearly 2300WIC children in our county  WIC participants are required to attend a nutrition class and assessment every 3 months during the year  Every Monday, library staff and BBP volunteers cover 7 classes and provide early literacy education, read-aloud modeling, and library card sign-ups
  9. 9. WICClasses at the Barrow County Health Department  WIC class clients ages birth to 5 receive one new age- appropriate book at each visit for a total of 4 per year  Parents also walk away with a BBP bag with library calendars and info, information from our partners, the BBP quarterly newsletter, and a Book Birdie for new clients  Families also have access to the Book Nook, where they can take any donated, gently-used books that catch their eye.
  10. 10. WICClasses at the Barrow County Health Department WIC Class Book Nook Ellen Petree reads to a WIC Class Young WIC client checks out the Book Nook
  11. 11. Pre-K Lottery and Kindergarten Registration Peach State Credit Union donation  Targeted 650 pre-k lottery applicants for BarrowCounty School System  Staffed pre-k lottery drawing days, where we gave out free books to each of the applicants and signed up families for library cards  Thanks to a donation, we were also able to give an expected 1000 new kindergarteners a new book
  12. 12. FosterChildren andChild Find  Roughly 80 Barrow County DFACS children ages birth-5 receive a new book twice a year in their care packets that go out at Christmas and right before summer  Barrow CountyChild Find identifies children with delays or disabilities and serves roughly 100 children 3 times a year  At each meeting with Child Find families the children receive an age appropriate book and the opportunity to apply for a library card
  13. 13. Pediatricians Offices Medlink Book Nook  In 2017, branched out to serving 2 pediatricians offices in Barrow  Medlink ofWinder and Barrow Pediatrics  At each location we are targeting low-income households, and will provide 1 book and library information and calendars at designated well-check visits  Rationale: Barrow County public and private pre-k classes only serve 45% of 4-year olds, so we hope to serve more children through this avenue
  14. 14. Measuring Success The following stats are taken from our first full-year grant report covering July 2016 toJune 2017.  WIC Classes  saw 800 children 4 times a year and distributed more than 3300 free books  Library staff presented at more than 200WIC classes and issued more than 400 library cards  Met and exceeded our goal of having 75% of participant families with library cards  From Lauren Dodge, former health department nutritionist:  I get comments months later about how wonderful their experience was in the WIC class because of a reading of Pete the Cat or Five Little Monkeys. It shows parents how fun a library storytime can be AND it shows them how to playfully read to their children. WIC clients really do love what we are doing, and the children look forward to coming now.
  15. 15. Measuring Success  Pre-K Lottery Applicants & Rising Kindergarteners  Library staff attended 9 pre-k lottery days and distributed over 650 free books to applicants  Library staff attended 10 Kindergarten registration days and distributed over 1000 books  Barrow County Foster Children  80 foster children received a new book at Christmas time, as well as a new book and library summer reading information in May  Barrow Child Find  More than 300 books have been distributed to Child Find families  Library staff have signed up an additional 200 library cards at other BBP events beyondWIC classes
  16. 16. Looking ahead  For 2017-2018 we received an increased grant from the Harrison Foundation to continue our efforts  Branching out to local pediatrician’s offices that serve low-income families  Since WIC programs see a lot of client-turnover, we continue to shoot for 75% of families having at least 1 library card
  17. 17. Resources for low-cost books that we’ve used  First Book  Books by the Bushel  The DollarTree  Ingram—staff can help create selection lists of board books that come in under budget after the discount  Local bookstores  Book drives, donations from local businesses, etc.
  18. 18. Contact Info Beth McIntyre, Director Piedmont Regional Library System Kelli McDaniel, Assistant Director Piedmont Regional Library System