The Early Learning Express bookmobile, a program of the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development, was the fortunate recipient of a $3,000 grant from the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation, whose purposes are “to advance literacy and foster a love of reading among underserved and at-risk children and youth.” Thanks to this generous funding, the Early Learning Express (ELE) Librarian, Sueño LeBlond, was able to expand the ELE’s library to better serve the hundreds of children and educators she visits along her route to Windham County early care and learn programs.
The grant funds were used to purchase books in one of two categories: nonfiction and early readers. There are some topics of interest that young children simply can’t get enough of, including, but not limited to dinosaurs, big trucks, animals (wild and domestic), and sports. Furthermore, teachers are always looking for seasonal topics. To better meet these demands, we added 118 new nonfiction titles covering topics far and wide. We bought books suitable for our younger audience about Easter and Passover, backhoes and cement mixers, gymnastics and football, chefs and veterinarians, and much more! Children and teachers immediately expressed their joy and gratitude for these new additions.
The rest of the grant was dedicated to buying books for our older population of emerging and developing readers. It isn’t common knowledge that the ELE visits primary aged children year-round and includes upper and middle grades during the summer. Our library was not meeting satisfying the reading interests of these children who were asking for graphic novels, early readers and middle grade novels. Thanks to this grant, we were able to purchase 115 books of this type to meet their needs.
The Winston Prouty Center is incredibly grateful to The Lois Lenski Covey Foundation for their support of our bookmobile program. Thanks to their support, we are better able to meet the needs of young children and their care providers while fostering a love of books and reading throughout Windham County.