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Early Learning

Museums and libraries have special roles in meeting the needs of the youngest learners and their caregivers.

Available Now: Growing Young Minds
The Growing Young Minds report, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a strong start in learning.

Read full report (PDF, 1.7MB)
Cover of Growing Young Minds

Read Executive Summary (PDF, 0.8MB)
cover of Executive Summary

Learn more about our partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

HHS logo
Partnership:
Head Start, Child Care, and Public Libraries
This partnership between IMLS and the HHS Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care encourages collaboration between early childhood programs and public libraries to help meet the educational needs of young children and their families.

Let's Move logoNational Initiative: Let's Move! Museums & Gardens
This new national initiative will provide opportunities for millions of museum and garden visitors to learn about healthy food choices and promote physical activity through interactive exhibits and programs.

Search the Awarded Grants database for grants to programs that strengthen early learning (issue areas have only been assigned to grants awarded since FY 2009)

Early learning content on the IMLS website:
IMLS at the American Library Association Conference in San Francisco

June 10, 2015 01:43 PM
If you are coming to ALA, we hope to see you at IMLS booth #2621. Read More

 
Medals2015 FLOTUS
First Lady Michelle Obama Presents National Medal to Exceptional Museums and Libraries at White House Ceremony

May 18, 2015 03:18 PM
The First Lady presented the awards to the museum and library directors and to community members from each institution, who shared how the library or museum has impacted their lives. Read More

 
POTUS AnacostiaLib
President Obama Announces Open eBooks and ConnectED Library Challenge

April 30, 2015 09:41 AM
President Obama announced two new efforts to strengthen student learning by improving access to digital content and to public libraries. Read More

 
Boy holding a book sits on the lap of his mother.
Blog Post: Reach Out and Read has a Prescription for Success

July 30, 2015 07:31 AM
Reach Out and Read has launched the Prescription for Success Toolkit, aimed at helping families benefit from museum and library services that foster literacy development in young children. Read More

 
Blog Post: Apply for a Mind in the Making Training Session on Executive Function Life Skills

July 16, 2015 08:10 AM
A training session hosted by the Families and Work Institute will share the science of early learning with professionals who work in museums and libraries. Read More

 
Children holding a butterfly in the United States Botanic Garden
Blog Post: Let's Move! Gardens are Buzzing with Pollinators

July 9, 2015 12:57 PM
Many Let’s Move! Gardens are participating in the Million Pollinator Challenge to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators. Read More

 
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Teacher Institutes for Science Education and Ocean Conservation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium


The Monterey Bay Aquarium offered expanded professional development programs for teachers through a teacher institute project, providing 450 teachers with new tools, skills, and support through 15 year-long, grade-appropriate teacher institutes over 3 years. Participating teachers were better able to engage and inspire students to develop a connection to their local environment and gain the basic ocean science and critical thinking skills necessary to be effective citizens and ocean stewards. Read More

 
AprilHomePromo
Built to Learn: A Model Community Engagement Project


The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is bringing the museum experience into public housing developments with a model program that includes early childhood literacy elements, health exhibits, and educational programming. Read More

 
A young girl uses an e-reader
Digital Storytime Means Serious Fun – and Vital Learning – for Arizona Toddlers


Adding e-readers to a traditional library preschool storytime gets parents more engaged and adds a new dimension of interaction for the children. In addition to developing language skills and instilling a love of books, the program helps bridge the digital divide, putting families on the path to digital literacy in a community with limited access to technology. Read More

 
IMLS Focus Learning in Libraries Final Report cover
IMLS Focus Learning in Libraries Final Report


This summary report outlines the major discussion points of the IMLS Focus convening on Learning in Libraries, held on May 14, 2015. The report highlights some of the key themes and issues raised by convening presenters and participants. Read More

 
Growing Young Minds
Growing Young Minds


Growing Young Minds, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a string start in learning. Read More

 
GrowingYoungMinds ExecSum 1
Growing Young Minds: Executive Summary


Growing Young Minds, from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the Institute of Museum and Library Services calls upon policymakers, practitioners, and parents to make full use of libraries and museums, and the skills and talents of those who work in them, to close knowledge and opportunity gaps and give all children a string start in learning. Read More

 
Talking Points: Adult Literacy Cover
Talking Points: Adults Gain Skills at the Library


Short overview of the impact of library services for adult literacy. Read More

 
Thumbnail of IMLS Supports Young Learners in the Library
Talking Points: Young Learners in the Library


Quick summary of the impact of library services for early learning. Read More

 
MedalsVideo2013 PierceCounty
2013 Medal Winner: Pierce County Library System

July 16, 2013 12:00 AM
Pierce County Library System Executive Director, Neel Parikh and community member Jo Cruz traveled to Washington, DC from Tacoma, Washington to receive the national medal and spoke to IMLS about how the library impacts the community. Read More