Texas Woman’s University recently received more than $700,000 to help future librarians specialize in early childhood literacy.
The TWU School of Library and Information Studies was awarded a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for $469,999. In addition, TWU is partnering with the Texas Library Association and the Dallas Public Library to match the grant with $273,037 to establish a new project, Literacy Matters: Educating Librarians to Serve Families With Young Children.
“We are all working together to deliver this project,” said Maria Cahill, a library and information sciences professor and the principal director of the project. “Some of it is matching funds, and some of it is matching service.”
The library association and the Dallas library will help TWU identify students to participate in the Literacy Matters program, Cahill said. Students recruited through the project will enroll in TWU’s Master of Library Science program and specialize in early childhood literacy.
In addition to coursework, students will take part in a number of other projects, she said.
TWU hopes that putting these librarians into place will improve academic success for children across the state, Cahill said.
Reading aloud to children early on is important, Cahill said. When children lack an early rich language environment, they are not prepared in school and fall behind, she said.
Public libraries have been trying to address the problem of illiteracy by focusing on educating parents and caregivers.
For more information about the program, visit www.twu.edu/slis.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.