The back-to-school month of September is always busy for students, parents and teachers.
It is also a very busy time for the King County Library System. While KCLS works year-around to support education, children’s literacy and diversity, we have ramped up many of our efforts this fall. These include some new programs and a number of special events.
Heading into the new school year, the importance of reading takes center stage. A partnership between Humanities Washington, two KCLS libraries (Covington and Kent) and local elementary schools will offer a six-week series this fall called Prime Time Family Reading. The program aims to inspire families to read, think, discuss and learn together, transforming their homes into learning environments and creating a foundation for lifelong learning.
Ready, Set, Kindergarten! is another series of in-person and online learning programs for children ages four to five years who are not yet in kindergarten. This program provides children, parents and other caregivers early learning experiences through various activities, and a participatory environment that help families make the transition to kindergarten. Participants can go to the library and pick up a kit with materials and tools developed especially for the program.
Grade-level learning will get a boost this fall with the OTTER/Sasquatch program, a KCLS partnership with schools that provides books for students throughout King County. The program, based on research showing the importance of reading, aims to instill in youth a love of books. KCLS children’s librarians partner with schools to create programming based on the OTTER/Sasquatch books.
Many other efforts are underway this fall to make learning fun and meaningful for people of all ages. KCLS will celebrate the long-awaited opening of a new Makerspace at Federal Way Library on September 17. There are now two Makerspaces, which provide a range of STEM and creative learning activities. Bellevue Library hosts the other Makerspace.
Also in the KCLS fall lineup is special programming to honor Welcoming Week (September 9-18) and National Hispanic LatinX Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). KCLS events tie in with National Welcoming Week, a movement aimed at building cultural bridges, particularly with immigrants and refugees. Programs include bilingual education and Story Times, including a special Welcoming Week Story Time at Redmond Library with Mayor Angela Birney and Police Chief Darrell Lowe. KCLS staff also has compiled a reading list to encourage discussion and understanding.
Please join us for a new season and throughout the school year. In addition to the new programs already mentioned, your local libraries support learning for all ages with a wide range of resources and popular programs like Study Zone Plus, multilingual events, author talks, digital access and much more. Check out our online and in-library offerings, and be inspired!