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Family Place and Early Childhood Programs at the Library

The Leon Valley Public Library is the first library in Leon Valley, San Antonio, and the surrounding area to become a Family Place Library! 


We are thrilled to have established the core components of this national model, which offers wonderful early learning experiences and opportunities for families with young children in our community. Family Place Libraries aims to welcome families with young children and offer an environment where children can engage in developmentally appropriate learning activities that provide growth and development within a supportive community. 


It has been a year since we received a competitive grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) to implement this initiative. 


In May 2023, our journey began when the Director (Regina) and Assistant Director (Theresa) took a week-long training course focused on family support, parent education, child development, and other resources to help our Family Place succeed.


Play Space

You may have noticed the Play Space in the library's children's section, which contains a new wooden kitchen, puzzles, blocks, books, puppets, and more. We designed this space for young children and their families to play together. We purchased the developmentally appropriate materials in the Play Space through the grant funds awarded through TSLAC. This space fosters not only parent-child interactions but peer-to-peer interactions as well. We have seen many great friendships develop in the Play Space!

 

Parenting Resource Collection (PRC)

Another component of being a Family Place Library is an accessible parent collection. Our parent collection, located adjacent to the Play Space, provides a convenient space for parents and caregivers to look through them while their children play. All of the books in our parent collection are available for checkout. Like the rest of our collection, we will continue adding current resources to it. We also have pamphlets and flyers with information about child development and services available in the community to address any concerns families may have about the development of their children. 


Parent-Child Workshop

We just finished our first Parent-Child Workshop in February! Each workshop is a five-week program for children one to three years of age and their parents or caregivers. Families enter a room with engaging, interactive, and developmentally appropriate toys, and we invite families to sit on the floor and play together. Each week, a community professional serving young children and their families visit us interacts with families and answers any questions as they interact with the families.

Professionals include specialists in: 

  • early literacy

  • speech

  • hearing and language development

  • music and movement

  • child development and nutrition

We plan to hold two workshops a year and are excited to get started planning our next one! 


Future Plans

Even though we have just started, our partnerships with these professionals from our first workshop are growing and developing into additional library programs. Everything keeps getting better and better for our families! In addition to our preschool and toddler storytimes, we have added a lapsit for children from birth to eighteen months of age called Baby and Me. With this addition, we are able to reach all ages of young children. 


If you are a family with young children, we hope to see you at the library soon! Check out our calendar for all of our events!

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