Books Aloud! programs across the City teach parents and child-care staff members about reading aloud and developing early literacy skills in young children.
LEAP, the Library’s after school program, serves many thousands of young Philadelphians with homework help, computer assistance, and special programs. Its 200 paid Teen Leadership Assistants (TLAs) provide key leadership, while local college students serve as Associate Leaders, training TLAs and designing technology programs. LEAP is funded by the City, with additional support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, the William Penn Foundation, and an individual donor. For more about LEAP, see “Awards.”
New this year is LEAP Online, which allows students at fifteen libraries to direct more-difficult questions to online tutors - and get immediate live responses. During a tutoring session, student and tutor can write and draw diagrams on the screen and access web sites together. Funded this year by a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), LEAP Online will next year be extended to all libraries, through a combination of public and private support.
LEAP’s Teen Leadership Assistants planned the annual Youth Empowerment Summit (YES), which drew more than 325 City teens for an exciting day of workshops and idea-sharing. The keynote speaker, author Solomon Jones, told a rapt audience about his own life’s version of the Summit’s theme, “Walking to a Different Beat.” The Summit was funded by the City, The Petersmeyer Family Foundation, the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the William Penn Foundation.
Library staff members visit all local schools to promote library programs and suggest resources for classes. Meanwhile, students regularly visit libraries - individually as well as in classes - to do research, write reports, and borrow books.