For immediate release:
EDMONTON, AB, February 17, 2017 – Free library cards will make their way into the hands of more Kindergarten students, thanks to a partnership between the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) and Edmonton Public Schools (EPSB).
According to Early Child Development Mapping Project (ECMap), less than 50% of children entering Kindergarten in Edmonton start school ready to learn. With a common objective to support students in their journey from early learning through high school and beyond, EPL and EPSB are collaborating to ensure children are provided with the tools and resources needed for an excellent start to school. Class visits and field trips to the library will be a focus for EPL, with staff from neighbourhood branches working with schools, teachers and students in their community. Every child in Kindergarten, along with their families, will also be provided with an opportunity to get a library card through their classroom.
“We know the early years of a child’s life set the tone for their learning,” said Pilar Martinez, Chief Executive Officer for the Edmonton Public Library. “Kindergarten is a critical age – it is a time when children make significant progress in developing the building blocks of reading and literacy.
“Edmonton Public Schools wants to give children an excellent start to learning – and the library can help.”
EPL has provided over 13,000 EPSB students with free library cards through the School Library Card program. Since this specific initiative began at the start of the 2016/2017 school year, 1,605 Kindergartners have signed up for their very own library card – bringing the total to 59% in Edmonton. The goal is to reach 70% of all Edmonton Kindergartners by the end of summer 2017.
“Libraries are an integral support for literacy and developing young learners into lifelong readers, and the earlier we can make that connection, the better,” said Michael Janz, Edmonton Public School Board Chair. “It’s easy to fall in love with libraries when you’re Kindergarten age – especially the modern, creative, diverse and exciting libraries of EPL.”
The two organizations, who have been working together formally since 2006, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on Friday, taking their partnership to the next level.
For more information on early literacy for Kindergarten children, visit epl.ca/readysetgo.
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About the Edmonton Public Library
The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 14 million in-branch and online visits across our 20 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/give
About the Edmonton Public School Board
With more than 200 schools and nearly 100,000 students, Edmonton Public Schools is the second largest school district in Alberta and the sixth largest in Canada. Edmonton Public Schools is helping to shape the future in every one of our classrooms. We’re focused on ensuring each student learns to their full potential and develops the ability, passion and imagination to pursue their dreams and contribute to their community.
For more information, contact
Edmonton Public Library
Supervisor, Media Relations
Edmonton Public School Board