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January 28, 2015 - Ontario City Library presents KinderGO!
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The Ontario City Library received a $20,000 grant from the State Library through the Pitch an Idea initiative in 2015.  Using these funds, we created a three-pronged approach to reaching and serving kindergarten students and their families.  The first part of KinderGO involved visiting every kinder classroom in our city and distributing special KinderGO library cards.  Kinder students received a new library card in a special KinderGO wallet and a KinderGO bag full of library-related materials.  During the classroom visit, students were also introduced to the KinderReads title.  In 2015, the Library partnered with 2015 Caldecott award winning author Dan Santat, and read The Adventures of Beekle, the unimaginary friend.   At the end of the visit, each teacher was given a copy of the book, as well as their own KinderGO bag filled with extension activities for Beekle.  Our final program was KinderFair, a kindergarten resource fair with music, food, roving characters, and early learning activities.  We invited community partners to set up booths at the fair, and we were thrilled to welcome author Dan Santat to the event for a short presentation on Beekle, and book sale and signing.

The most challenging part of this program was managing over 80 classroom visits in a one-month period.  To tackle this unique situation, we asked for the support and participation of city staff.  Two Youth Services staff trained over 60 city staff members to visit kinder classrooms.  City staff were trained to deliver story time, pitch a program, and to interact with young children.  Departments such Fire, Purchasing, Code Enforcement, and even our Assistant City Manager participated.  In total, we reached over 2,200 kinder students, 80 classrooms and 21 school sites.