Museums and libraries have special roles in meeting the needs of the youngest learners and their caregivers.
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.
National 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:
Early experiences with books and language lay the foundation for a child’s later reading success and school achievement. Libraries across the country are reaching young learners in innovative ways. This profile explores literacy programs in Alaska and Kansas that are preparing young readers long before they enter the classroom.
When the Boston Children’s Museum’s KidPower—a new health exhibit—became the anchor exhibit of its new wing, the Museum’s new health focus was literally front and center. They joined the ranks of children’s museums that are becoming a national force in combating childhood obesity and at the same time found they could learn valuable lessons from their local community.
The Treehouse Museum's A Knight at the Museum program provides opportunities for families of children enrolled in area Head Start programs and in local public schools to participate in storybook themed learning quests centered around the museum's resources. Thanks to funding by an IMLS Museums for America Engaging Communities grant, the Treehouse Museum updated its exhibits for the program and offered the event at reduced cost to area schools.
When Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, California, set a goal to boost its overall attendance in a way that matched local demographics, it knew it had to attract a lot more Vietnamese visitors. That’s because San Jose has the largest urban Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. During the museum’s three-year initiative, the staff learned a lot about the Vietnamese community and its internal divisions.
Sometimes the parents and children who would most benefit from library services are the ones who haven’t established the habit of visiting libraries. That’s what the Henderson District Public Libraries in Henderson, Nevada, discovered when planning a comprehensive early literacy program involving the whole community. The solution? Bring books and classes to the people.