In valuing a literate community, the Foundation focuses on funding literacy and youth services. These programs emphasize the importance of literacy and reading, helping children and youth gain needed literacy and language skills for success in school. Families develop life skills leading to personal and educational growth toward better lives. The DeKalb Library provides support for the following literacy initiatives and programs:
Project Horizon helps children and families who are homeless or in transitional house improve early literacy skills and keep up with homework at three shelters in DeKalb County (Hagar House, International Women’s House, and Our House).
Project REAP (Reading Empowers All People) helps immigrant and refugee adults and children improve spoken English and enhances their literacy skills. Parents are taught how to partner in their children’s education through Parent and Child Time (PACT) at three locations (Friends of Refugees, International Rescue Committee, and International Women’s House).
Health Literacy programs provide books and reading time for children during their visit at three DeKalb County Board of Health Clinics (East DeKalb Health Center, North DeKalb Health Center, and T.O. Vinson Center).
Additional support includes:
PRIME TIME Family Reading Time® is a six-week reading, discussion, and storytelling series designed for under-served families with children six to ten years of age. PRIME TIME encourages reading in the home by involving the entire family. A storyteller models basic reading techniques that parents can copy at home when reading to their children. Participating families receive book sets each week to read at home during the duration of the program. The DeKalb County Public Library provides this program in partnership with the Georgia Public Library System. Grant funding provides additional support to the program for personal book copies for the families to keep after the program concludes.
Vacation Reading Program encourages youth to continue reading over the summer through DeKalb County Public Library’s annual Vacation Reading Program. For every ten hours of reading, participating children and teens enter their names at their home library branch for drawings to win prizes. The DeKalb Library Foundation funds the incentives.
More than 1,000 books were distributed to children and adults in 130 Project REAP programs.
More than 12,000 children signed up to participate in the Vacation Reading Program.
After participating in the PRIMETIME Family Reading Time program at Chamblee, a parent remarked, “At school, my son’s teacher noticed his reading level improved. He is able to recognize many more words now because we are reading so much.”