October 20, 2014 -- The Poudre River Public Library District recently received three grants that will help us expand and evaluate services and programs that are conducted outside the Library by our Outreach Department.
First, the Library District is thrilled to be one of eight libraries in Colorado to receive a Library Services and Technology (LSTA) grant. These federally funded competitive grants are made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services www.imls.govand are administered by the Colorado State Library. Our grant project entitled "STREAMLab" will enable the Library District to formalize our partnership with the City of Fort Collins Recreation Department by establishing a makerspace in the Northside Aztlan Center.
STREAMLab programming (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math) will focus on the following staff-led activities: e-textiles, robotic programming, coding, and 3-D scanning and printing. Library staff will conduct activities for youth residing in north Fort Collins who participate in the Poudre School District off-site afterschool program. Northside Aztlan staff will provide self-directed makerspace activities one evening a week for youth on a drop-in basis. City and library staff members are busy ordering materials, equipment and developing lesson plans. STREAMLab activities are scheduled to launch in February 2015.
Then, this past summer, the United Way of Larimer County selected the Poudre River Public Library District as one of a "community-wide, collective movement to reduce poverty and increase prosperity so that all people in Larimer County have the opportunity for a better life." Library staff are working with other educational agencies on developing common goals and outcomes in the area of early literacy and school readiness. Specifically, the Library District will evaluate its Spanish language early literacy programs as part of this school readiness cohort.
Finally, the Library received a small grant from Target to help us expand the popular Rincón de Cuentos, our Spanish language storytime outreach program. Launched in 2008, Rincón de Cuentos is an innovative program that serves local Spanish-speaking families with young children by training community volunteers to become storytellers using stories, crafts, and song. This weekly program is currently offered in south Fort Collins at the Harmony Mobile Home Park. Now we will be able to continue the program that was piloted earlier this year in north Fort Collins.