Programs & Initiatives
Founded in 1998 to support the Windsor Public Library, the Foundation (a non-profit organization) exists in its entirety to provide new libraries and facilities, develop literacy programs, in addition to providing computers, books, CD’s, videos and other resource materials that will greatly improve the patrons’ library experience when visiting one of our many locations.
Developing brand new Children’s Learning Centres in several Windsor libraries is a way the Foundation is striving to meet its goals in 2005, which are only possible with the generous contributions of the Windsor community.
Children’s Learning Centres at the Branch Libraries
The success of the early years initiatives at Windsor Public Library’s Central Branch, specifically the Kaysandra & Christopher Curtis Children’s Learning Centre, has created a demand for these services to be expanded to all residents of the City of Windsor. Thus the Windsor Public Library Foundation is committed to raising funds for renovation in the children’s areas at Riverside, Budimir, Forest Glade and Bridgeview libraries. These renovations will include new developmental toys, shelving to house picture books, internet access, child-friendly software, story-time areas and child-size furniture. These innovative children’s centres will be geared to the 0-6 age group, with thousands of children and their families benefiting from these new facilities.
The new Riverside Library Children’s Learning Centre
The newly renovated Children’s Centre at Riverside Library was opened in July 2005. The new children’s furniture, comfortable reading chairs, shelving and developmental toys have trasnfromed this space into a warm, welcoming area for the families of Riverside.
Why There Is A Need For These Facilities:
It has been proven that brain development in the first three years predicts how the child will do academically later in life. Thus it is crucial that all children be exposed to reading and sensory stimulation at the earliest age possible. Windsor’s libraries have been giving children this development through books, CD’s and toys but want to expand this to include developmental toys and facilities. A play-based learning approach ensures the child’s whole development by providing hands-on play to increase social, behavioural, and emotional growth. These toys support the emergent literacy environment by providing language and vocabulary development as well as building self-esteem. Overall, these new resources are important in a neighbourhood library because they encourage parents and children to develop a relationship with this service that will continue to grow through the child’s school career.
Just Some Of The Proposed Changes
- New shelving for the picture books since they are not within easy reach of the youngest customers; children are thus forced to rely on parents and caregivers choosing for them
- Creating unique family reading spaces to encourage a friendlier environment for children
- The addition of comfortable couches for parents and children to read together
- Small chairs and tables at three of the proposed branches for both children’s computers and reading purposes
- Shelving to accommodate increased parenting collections and community information
- The collection of materials for children ages 0-6 and arrangement by developmental age with supporting parenting books for that specific age located above the children’s material
- The introduction of new children’s software and computers as well as the fore-mentioned developmental toys
Role Of Library Staff In The Children’s Learning Centre:
- Providing information resources to parents and caregivers of young families to convey the needs of children at different developmental stages
- Facilitation of early literacy workshops for parents and caregivers to promote the importance of reading to children