LLABS Libraries

Monterey County Library

Monterey LLABS

Monterey LLABS

Monterey LLABS

Project Partners:
Family & Community Nutrition Programs/WIC
School and Public Librarians Association of the Monterey Bay Area (SPLAMBA)

Vehicle Stops:
Reading Safari stops are planned for the following communities:
Las Lomas
Elkhorn Slough
Cal Orchard (migrant camp)
King City
San Lucas
Del Rey Oaks
Big Sur

Project Highlights:
The Monterey County Free Libraries is offering a new service for family child care homes and child care centers. Beginning in March 2002, the Reading Safari outreach bus will regularly visit family child care homes, child care centers, preschools and other community sites throughout the county and provide programs and books to support early literacy and school readiness. Reading Safari is a mobile outreach program designed to provide library, literacy, book and information services to children 0-5 and their parents and caregivers. This program is funded by the California State Library, the California Children and Families Commission and by Monterey County Free Libraries.

The Reading Safari program supports reading and school readiness by providing the materials, models and support for early language and literacy experiences, so that children can have a better chance of
succeeding in school and in life. The early years of a child's life are vitally important to his or her future development and success. Children who are exposed to a rich variety of literary experiences are far more
likely to enter school ready to learn, read, and write. Reading is also fun
and stimulates thinking and imagination.

Story times and craft programs (in English or Spanish bilingual) are provided by Reading Safari staff at each of the sites once a month. New hardcover children's books are given away to participating child care providers once a month to help build up their story time collection. Books are also given away to each child participating in the program to help build a home library and to engender a love of reading. A story time kit is provided for checkout at each site. Each kit focuses on a basic school readiness concept (such as learning about the five senses) and includes age appropriate children's books and puppets. The use of each kit is demonstrated by Reading Safari staff in a story time and craft program at the site.

The Reading Safari program also supports parent education through collaboration with other organizations to provide parenting, health, and child development information and services. The Reading Safari outreach bus will carry brochures, pamphlets, and videos from other agencies, as well as books on parenting, child development and other issues. Workshops will be provided to parents and caregivers by program partners and by Reading Safari staff on parenting, health and early literacy topics. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is providing story time kits on health topics that will be used in the Reading Safari Program.

Additional Facts and Highlights
The graphics for the Reading Safari bus were designed by Jose Ortiz, a well-known local artist, who was introduced to public libraries by a school teacher. His experience borrowing books from libraries helped fuel his interest and future career in art.

Contact Person:
Jennifer Smith, Youth Services Librarian
Monterey County Free Libraries
26 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA 93901
(831) 424-2039

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