YOU GUYS! I am so excited! The project I have been working on as a member of DCRG’s charity committee is finally live and ready to be talked about! There are many librarians involved with the league (we have a ref named Screwy Decimal, for pete’s sake!) and we wanted to assist our local library system in conjunction with National Library Week. Rock Clobster (#B-52 of course) suggested we partner with Dewey Donation System, which is run in part by former LA Derby Doll Pamela Ribon, AKA May Q. Holla. Since Pamie is a huge part of how I got into roller derby (which I could have sworn I talked about here before, but I can’t find it, so you’ll just have to read about it here) I especially wanted in on this and so Rock Clobster and I took charge of this project. Claw was our POC for Dewey and I was our POC for DCPL and for the past month or so we have been busily working to set up this AWESOME bookdrive for the DCPL STAR early literacy program.
Last year, less than half of DC’s third-graders were shown to be proficient readers. The DC Public Library’s STAR program promotes early literacy by teaching parents and other primary caretakers techniques to share books, songs and conversation with infants and toddlers.
This program partners with social service agencies, homeless shelters, low-income housing providers and other venues who identify families in at-risk communities in need of training, and help DCPL follow up with these families to continue providing literacy services.
In 2012, their goal is to serve 600 families, beginning June 1, 2012.
Using everyday tasks, DCPL staff train parents key communication skills that lead to learning and reading comprehension. For bath time, program staff teach parents to sing their children a song about a rubber ducky or the water. When grocery shopping, parents learn to converse with their children about the foods they are purchasing. Through these simple exercises, parents teach valuable skills such as vocabulary, narrative skills, comprehension, and most importantly, a love of reading.
Each child is sent home with a book that’s theirs to keep (as well as a book for the caretakers that teaches these skills and practices). Upon finishing the program the child is given another book. That’s two books per kid in order to encourage a deeper bond between caretaker and child, and spark a lifetime love of reading.
You can donate through the Amazon Wishlist, but DCPL gets a significant discount through their vendors, so you can also donate money because a cash donation might be worth a little more. Once you’ve donated, tell Dewey and so they can thank you (and of course, DCPL and DC Rollergirls thank you as well!) and add your donation to the front page tally.
We will, as always, have a table set up at the April 14th bout where we will be collecting cash donations and selling gently used books to raise money for the STAR program. We may also have a librarian or two from DCPL there to tell you more about the program and sign you up for a library card! The drive will be running from today until April 21st. Buy a book or donate money online or at the bout, or buy a mystery bag of books (grouped by genre) at the bout to support DC Public Libraries, the DC Public Library Foundation, and their early literacy STAR program!