About Us - Issues

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

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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:
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Thirty Museums and Libraries Tapped as Finalists for National Medal

February 24, 2015 09:28 AM
For 21 years, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. Read More

 
Grant Will Connect Early Learning Services of Museums and Libraries with Medical Community

January 8, 2015 01:43 PM
Reach Out and Read’s New Project is a "Prescription for Success." Read More

 
Federal Grants of $30 Million Awarded to Support Museums across the U.S.

September 18, 2014 08:28 AM
Today IMLS announces recipients of the Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs. Grants awarded in 2014 inspire museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Read More

 
Jessica Ford and Connie Jones
Blog Post: StoryCorps Interview: Mid-Continent Public Library

April 17, 2015 02:42 PM
At Mid-Continent Public Library, Connie Jones talks to colleague Jessica Ford, a former student at the Kansas City Elementary School where Connie was the librarian. Read More

 
Children doing the yoga bridge pose
Blog Post: Embarking on a Yogic Adventure at The Magic House

April 15, 2015 11:40 AM
A seven-week program at The Magic House, St. Louis Children’ Museum, combined child-friendly yoga activities with art programming for adults and children to engage in physical exercise and enjoy special bonding time. Read More

 
Girl holding cabbage at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Blog Post: Museums and Gardens Across the Country Join the Let’s Move! Initiative

March 24, 2015 03:08 PM
IMLS celebrates the 5th Anniversary of Let’s Move! with a look back on Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens. 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

 
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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

 
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

 
Early Learning Task Force Meeting Notes


On December 5, 2012, IMLS and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading convened the initial meeting of the Early Learning Task Force, which includes more than a dozen senior executives from museums and public library systems, federal health and human service agency representatives, policy advocacy groups, and IMLS and Campaign leadership. 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

 
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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