On May 17, 2017, at its annual Charter Dinner and Awards Ceremony, Altrusa International of DeKalb-Sycamore recognized DeKalb Public Library’s “Little Learners” Outreach Program for its annual Literacy Recognition Award. The Literacy Recognition Award recognizes a local person, organization and/or program providing exceptional service to literacy efforts in our community.
The DeKalb County Community Foundation, together with the DeKalb Township committee, have provided funds to purchase classic children’s books which are distributed to the 300 children attending the DeKalb School District’s Early Learning and Development Center. DeKalb Public Library’s Marti Brown presents a weekly themed program to one classroom each week. She will meet with each classroom four times during 2017. Along with the songs, books, finger plays, and movement based on the current theme, Marti also features the book that is then distributed to each of the children in the class. In addition to the free book, Marti includes a take-home sheet with the songs for that theme and literacy tips for home.
This program currently services the “at risk” pre-school population of the DeKalb School District, which includes Cortland and Malta. The children range in age from three to five years old. 100% of the students are enrolled because of a qualifying need, as evidenced by pre-school screening or by family financial needs. The school houses four pre-K classrooms, one bilingual pre-K classroom, and three Early Childhood special education classrooms.
While the ELDC is on summer break, Marti participates in the Camp Power program each Tuesday. Her themed program is presented to the youngest group (ages 5-6) attending the camp, and the song sheet with literacy tips is also distributed to each child. Twice each summer she brings along free books, and each child selects a book to add to their library at home.