The Library System is pleased to announce that the Bookmobile will be promoting STEM throughout Lancaster County in the coming years. Currently, the Bookmobile sees as many as 41 Head Start class rooms around the county each month, plus an additional 11 pre-school and childcare classes at other locations such as the Wonder Club and San Juan Bautista Learning Center. They also see several after-school clubs and 4 Amish Schools each month.
The newly-acquired STEM resources are made possible through our partnership with the Lancaster County STEM Alliance and the High Foundation.
Ed Miller, Special Services Manager and Bookmobile driver, sees real value in reaching youth with these resources and he is planning to expand the program to add CAP Head Start. They are currently in the planning process to develop a 5-year plan for the Bookmobile to promote STEM in their classrooms. This new STEM education program has four essential components:
- Preschool STEM collection: The Bookmobile will create a STEM collection suitable for preschoolers. The collection will consist of books, tech toys (like little robots for coding, blocks and construction sets) and kits for exploration (such as magnifying glasses to explore the natural world and other kits) covering a wide range of STEM related themes. The collection will be kept on special STEM themed carts that teachers or centers can request.
- Professional STEM collection: The Bookmobile and LSLC will be investing in professional resources for teachers and librarians to use to promote STEM.
- Training: CAP Head Start, the Bookmobile and LSLC will plan co-training events focused on STEM education for preschoolers. The trainings will be for Head Start staff and for youth librarians throughout Lancaster County.
- STEM programing: The Bookmobile will be making STEM education one of its primary focus areas for storytimes. Storytimes are book based, but also designed to introduce materials to teachers and children in a way that promotes growth of literacy and learning.
Sandy Strunk, Executive Director of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance, shares her enthusiasm for the Library System’s vision to bring STEM resources to the youth of Lancaster County, “The STEM Alliance is excited to partner with the Library System of Lancaster County in bringing these high-quality STEM resources to all parts of our county. The new Bookmobile is a wonderful vehicle for introducing young people to the magic of STEM learning.”
Robin Stauffer, Director of the High Foundation, has high praise for how their support will benefit children who are served by the Bookmobile. “The early years of a child’s life are the foundation upon which they can build future success, and Head Start and preschool programs across the County are an important component of Kindergarten readiness. The High Foundation Board felt it was important to see this service continue and expand. Funding for the new bookmobile ensures that books and programs are made available to children in need of these services throughout Lancaster County.”
The new bookmobile will facilitate these efforts by giving the Bookmobile staff the flexibility to carefully curate the collection of materials of items we take to each location visit. Taking these resources and programs into the classrooms will allow the staff to engage the children in an environment more suitable for learning and also allow for effective use of time and resources.
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