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Libraries Install New Children’s Spaces as “Ready For K!” Becomes Permanent Program

Providence Community Library Deepens Its Commitment to Pre-K Education

Ready For K!, a school readiness project created by Providence Community Library (PCL) and collaborative partners, is set to become  a permanent program after it completes its pilot two-year run in 2015.  PCL will expand the number of library locations offering Ready For K! from four to six early next year with remaining branches coming on stream at a later date.  New, dedicated children’s spaces at all locations will ensure that PCL’s youngest patrons enjoy a safe, well-equipped learning environment at all times.

ProvidencePreKReady For K! will offer three, nine-week courses in 2015, starting in January, April and September. Children aged three-and-a-half to five years may enroll in the program (with parent or caregiver) and participating families will have up to 18 months to help their child get ready for kindergarten. Ready For K! courses will be scheduled to run alongside another popular PCL program, Cradle to Crayons (birth – three years), providing families with an opportunity to work through a seamless sequence of no cost, educational programs at the same location from babyhood to kindergarten.

“There’s a critical need for school readiness programs” said Cheryl Space, Youth Services Coordinator at PCL. “Half of children who enter kindergarten in Providence have no prior experience of formal preschool learning and many students struggle to meet language and literacy benchmarks in the classroom.”  PCL has created special learning kits with bilingual books for families to borrow and purchased age-appropriate toys for each library. As a special incentive, each child who completes the workshop will receive a free backpack to take home stuffed with school supplies and books. Many of the program’s specially trained staff are fully bilingual in Spanish and English.

Ready For K!, a collaborative effort of PCL, Ready to Learn Providence,  RI Family Literacy Initiative  and the Providence Public School District (PPSD), has been funded by a $250,000 grant awarded in 2013 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Its specially written program modules feature creative storytelling and story-acting practices and are based on Rhode Island Early Learning and Development Standards (RIELDS).   Families may register for Ready For K! at PPSD’s registration office and participating PCL locations. Dates, locations and times for Ready For K!’s January courses are as follows:

  • Knight Memorial Library: Wednesdays starting January 28 @ noon
    275 Elmwood Avenue: 401-467-2625
  • Mount Pleasant Library: Wednesdays starting January 28 @ 10:30a.m.
    315 Academy Avenue: 401-272-0106
  • Olneyville Library: Mondays starting January 26 @ 10:00a.m.
    One Olneyville Square: 401-421-4084
  • Smith Hill Library: Mondays starting January 26 @ 10:00a.m.
    31 Candace Street: 401-272-4140
  • South Providence Library: Thursdays starting January 29 @ 10a.m.
    441 Prairie Avenue: 401-467-2619
  • Washington Park Library: Wednesdays starting January 28 @ 10a.m.
    1316 Broad Street: 401-781-3136

For more information about the Ready for K! program, please contact Cheryl Space, Youth Services Coordinator, cspace@provcomlib.org 401-467-2700 X1616 or visit www.provcomlib.org

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