Members of Humboldt County of Office of Education cut the ribbon on their newest little library installation.
Mayor Kim Bergel was on hand for the festivities as was superintendent Michael Davies-Hughes and lead library technician Ashley Kane.
“Our focus is to really increase community outreach to families with young children and encourage them to have reading in the home because family engagement is key,” Kane said.
Little libraries like the one here in Hammond Park are encouraging young readers to take a book and share a book. Another of these little children’s libraries is located in Ross Park.
All forms of children’s books from picture books to early childhood to even graphics are all welcomed. This is all part of the Office of Education’s Early Literacy Program.
“The early literacy program was established almost 15 years ago as part of HCOE’s Decade of Difference initiative. It’s had many different forms over the year, but the current goal of the program is to increase children’s literacy in ages 0 to 5 before they reach grade school level,” Kane said.
The little libraries are not just a collaboration with the city of Eureka. They are also a collaboration with students from schools throughout Humboldt County.
“There was a lot of collaboration and different programs that actually to make these very little children’s libraries,” Kane said. “The HCOE’s career tech industrial arts classes designed and built them and their students were from Aldergrove Pacific Charter and Northern United Charter, and then they were painted by the after school children at South Bay School District.”
And HCOE goes beyond libraries and parks to help continue to promote literacy for everyone.
“It clearly improves literacy in a lot of ways for our school grade children. And we have a lot of opportunities for teachers to get training, such as the science of reading and getting reading, write and letters,” Kane said. “We circulate 3000 to 5000 books month, and we have a courier driver that takes books to everywhere from Weott to Orick to Orleans and all over Arcata. Just a really great way for us to provide supplementary materials to these teachers in their lessons.”
It goes to show how far reading can go in Humboldt County.