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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

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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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Institute of Museum and Library Services Announces 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalists

March 3, 2014 09:00 AM
Thirty institutions from across the country are finalists for the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Read More

 
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Institute of Museum and Library Services Announces 20th Anniversary of National Medal Program

February 19, 2014 09:37 AM
IMLS celebrates 20 years of the award that has recognized 132 outstanding museums and libraries. Read More

 
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Dartmouth College’s Mary Flanagan and Collections Trust’s Nick Poole To Keynote WebWise 2014

November 27, 2013 10:37 AM
Registration is now open for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’s 2014 WebWise conference, which will take place February 10-12 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace in Baltimore, MD Read More

 
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Blog Post: Children Who Visit Museums Have Higher Achievement in Reading, Math, and Science

April 21, 2014 03:59 PM
IMLS Senior Statistician Deanne W. Swan highlights findings that show the educational benefits of museum visits for kindergarten children. Read More

 
Blog Post: A Place for Literacy Volunteerism at the Library and Museum

April 2, 2014 02:18 PM
Director Hildreth recognizes volunteer efforts in museums and libraries in honor of National Volunteer Week. Read More

 
Blog Post: Interview: New York State Library

January 30, 2014 08:32 AM
For more than 50 years, the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) has been the backbone of federal support for libraries in America. IMLS interviewed the New York state librarian about how New York uses federal funds and how the needs of library users in the state are changing. 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

 
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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

 
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September 2012: Your Friendly Neighborhood Library: An Inviting Space, a Family Place


The Family Place model is helping several California public libraries rethink their children’s programming. They’re taking services for their youngest readers beyond storytime by providing interactive children’s spaces that foster child and family development. 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

 
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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