Richfield Public Library

–  Richfield Public Library, Head Start partner, Richfield, UT

Boy reading at library

Richfield Public Library has partnered with our local Head Start programs for eight years, after learning that some Head Start kids had few or no books in their homes. Utilizing Institute for Museum and Library Services grants, Volunteers of America books, Firstbook, donated books, and Friends of the Library funds, we bought over 200 quality hardcover books for Head Starts to use with families and in classrooms. We have contributed over 1,000 books that have gone directly to Head Start families so that kids can own their own books and keep them at home. We frequently do story times at Head Start programs, and have donated Spanish and bilingual books. We welcome Head Start kids and teachers to get free library cards. We partner with Head Start to do an annual DIA Extravaganza of Children's Book Day to bring in the whole community to hear multicultural stories. We take donated and discarded books to the School Summer Free Lunch Program in our parks and encourage kids to take them home without needing a library card-or worrying about fines. The story I am personally most touched by was when we had a parent who spoke only Japanese but passionately wanted to read to his children in his native language. The Friends of the Library located and bought three bilingual books of Japanese legends in beautifully illustrated picture books. The man wept with happiness when he was able to read books to his children. We knew that research shows it doesn't matter what language the parent reads in; children learn to read in English just as readily when they hear a parent love to read to them in any language. We love Head Start and see the huge difference it makes to our community kids.