Partnering for equity in education

How do you close the “homework gap”? In part, by working together. On Monday, June 10, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Superintendent Dr. Carol Kelley, Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Senior Director of Technology Michael Arensdorff, and Oak Park Public Library Director David J. Seleb presented a webinar entitled “Closing the Homework Gap: … Read more

‘We’re inextricably connected’

In this summer’s One Book, One Oak Park series, we’re connecting over Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People, which looks at how open, accessible spaces can promote civic engagement and social interaction. The author uses the term “social infrastructure” to describe public libraries, parks, schools, community gardens, and other places where people assemble and engage. … Read more

‘This is an area of need across Oak Park’

When visiting local daycares and preschools, Children’s Outreach and Programming Specialist Jenny Jackson (pictured) always includes social and emotional concepts in her storytimes. “What do you think ‘anxious’ is? Have you ever had butterflies in your tummy?” she asks as reads aloud to preschoolers in the PreKindergarten Partnership (PKP) classes at Longfellow Elementary, one of … Read more

#BuildingCommunity through the use of free public space: Arabic Calligraphy Club brings families together

Mother and son writing in Arabic

Every Saturday, a group of families gathers at the public library for Arabic Calligraphy Club. Using free meeting room space at the Main Library, they bring supplies: plain white paper, pens and markers, canvases, bottles of ink. And, of course, snacks—a tin of butter cookies, a few tomatoes, falafel, chocolate. “It’s good family time,” says … Read more

Sharing 1,000 books: ‘It has been truly special’

Father and son reading at Maze Branch

Navin doesn’t start kindergarten until fall 2020, yet he’s already read more than 1,000 books! Committed to the long-term goal of reading together well before kindergarten, Navin and his family participated in the library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. It’s designed to prepare babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to arrive ready to learn come kindergarten. “We … Read more

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