Building reading into each day

1000 Books Jillian Zarlenga

This summer, families with young children who sign up for our summer reading program also have the opportunity to sign up for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It asks families to read—you guessed it—1,000 books together before their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers become kindergarteners. After finishing 1,000 books, each child gets to pick out a … Read more

Pop-up library in the parks

Two girls selecting books from the Book Bike

Share books, songs, and play in our parks Weather permitting, come check out books in Oak Park parks, engaging with neighbors, and signing up for our kids’ summer reading program, Reading Takes You Everywhere. Then, see where else the Book Bike will be this summer » “This idea stemmed from what we heard while talking with young families and … Read more

Spring break at your library

Opting for a staycation this spring break? Join us for events and activities at your library while school is out for Oak Park Elementary School District 97 March 26-31. Browse all Kids & Families events >American Girl Mystery EventMonday, March 26, 2–3:30 pm, Dole Branch. Decipher the clues and interact with Multicultural Collection artifacts relating to the historical dolls to solve the mystery. Get ready to explore history, learn about Victory Gardens with Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, and more! Best for ages 5+. Dress-up encouraged. Please note: Dole Branch will be open during the hours of this event for event attendees only.Kids’ Improv WorkshopMonday, March 26, 6:30–7:30 pm, Maze Branch. Join us for fun and games that are sure to test your quick-thinking skills. Grades 1–4.Spring Break CraftingLaugh, have fun, and create! Ages 4+.Tuesday, March 27, 2–3 pm, Maze BranchThursday, March 29, 2–3 pm, Dole BranchFilm Screening: Despicable Me 3Wednesday, March 28, 2–4 pm, Main Library Storytime Room. After he is fired from the Anti-Villain League for failing to take down Balthazar Bratt, the latest bad guy to threaten humanity, Gru finds himself in the midst of a major identity crisis. But when a mysterious stranger shows up to inform Gru that he has a long-lost twin brother—a brother who desperately wishes to follow in his twin's despicable footsteps—one former super-villain will rediscover just how good it feels to be bad. (PG, 90 minutes)More Than a Mic: Transgender Day of VisibilityWednesday, March 28, 5–7 pm, Main Library Veterans Room. Speak out against transphobia and oppression through performance and visual art at this spoken-word freestyle open mic, part of the library's More Than a Month series.

Opting for a staycation this spring break? Join us for events and activities at your library while school is out for Oak Park Elementary School District 97 March 26-31. Browse all Kids & Families events » American Girl Mystery EventMonday, March 26, 2–3:30 pm, Dole Branch. Decipher the clues and interact with Multicultural Collection artifacts … Read more

Congrats on completing 1,000 Books, Elliott!

Elliott, 1,000 Books Finisher

At 19-months-old Elliott’s house, reading is definitely a priority! Here, Elliott poses for his celebratory “first finisher” photo, part of his formal recognition as the first child to finish the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Since its November launch, 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten has attracted more than 600 families to sign up with their … Read more

Learning in action at Code Fest

Kids playing with coding toys

On Wednesday, January 17, more than 200 community members attended the inaugural Oak Park Code Fest, a collaborative event put together by Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park Elementary District 97 teacher librarians, and community members. Students from all 10 schools in grades K-8 attended with their families to explore coding apps, robots, and websites. For an … Read more

Leading change by removing barriers

Frances Kraft, Rising Readers

By Frances Kraft As parents, teachers, and family members, we hope to foster in our children a love of reading from the earliest age. We encourage them to get lost in a book and allow their imagination to take them anywhere they want to go. Books eliminate boundaries and erase borders in our minds. But in reality, … Read more

Help strengthen your child’s ‘mind muscle’

Strengthening Your Child's Mind Muscle

Earlier this year, the Collaboration for Early Childhood circulated a community survey targeted at parents with kids ages 0–5, aiming to gather input on the resources and activities parents would like to see in our community. Through survey results shared with the library, we learned that local families want more resources and support for managing … Read more

A burst of creativity

Hacking Hemingway comic

See all student work here and by searching Twitter with #HackingHemingway Tweens and teens are digital learners, creators Inspired by old Hemingway family photos digitized earlier this year through a state grant to the library, Oak Park tweens and teens showed “a burst of creativity” in their classrooms and at the library this spring, said the grant’s Digital Learning Resident Alex Nall. A … Read more

Five ways we support lifelong learning from birth

Mom and baby reading

When it comes to learning, there is no such thing as starting too early. Research tells us how important it is to introduce literacy concepts to children in their first years of life, even as newborns. It’s why we strategically support parents, caregivers, teachers, babies, toddlers, and preschoolers—with library-based resources and expertise as well as … Read more

Baby can’t wait

Carolyn Newberry Schwartz

By Carolyn Newberry Schwartz Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood “Baby can’t wait” is a phrase you hear often at the Collaboration for Early Childhood. A compelling body of research shows the vital role early experiences play in a child’s ability to grow up healthy and ready to succeed. The Collaboration for Early Childhood, a public/private partnership, was … Read more

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