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Parents as First Teachers

Parents as First Teachers

You already know the library works to promote early literacy. But did you know we've worked to build relationships with community partners to help bring those services to folks outside of the library, too?

In collaboration with Public Health of Madison & Dane County, the Parents as First Teachers program provides early literacy materials, training, and resources to public health staff to support conversations about the role parents play as their child’s first teacher, and the impact reading, singing, and playing has on child development.

Our youth services staff teamed up with Madison Dane County Public Health’s Nurse/Family staff to promote early literacy practices and provide baby books during home visits. Library staff trained the nurses and clinicians making the visits and provided the materials (books and other info), while Public Health staff incorporated literacy strategies into their clients’ check-ups.

Parents as Teachers First facilitates a trusted connection between nurse and parent, where the parent (and later the child) learn about the importance of early literacy and become aware of library services. And the Library is proud to bring a signature service, early literacy development, directly into people’s homes.

Not only does this help eliminate barriers to early literacy services, it also works to empower parents by helping them connect bonding activities to child development milestones; spread awareness of literacy as an indicator of health and well-being; and develop a new community feedback mechanism through partnership with Public Health staff.

The Parents as First Teachers program was made possible in part by the Madison Public Library Foundation.