You invest in early literacy. Saint Paul kids build a foundation for lifelong learning.

Grace loves the library. She loves the friends she meets there: Ms. Kim, Ms. Heather – and Mr. Owl and Baby Bear, of course. She’s sees these friends each week during storytime at George Latimer Central Library, where she gets to sing, dance, and play. 

Saint Paul Public Library staff have created programs like storytimes and designed “play and learn” spaces at branches in order to cultivate a foundation for literacy and learning starting with our youngest patrons. 

Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Youth Services Manager at the library, says “play and learning are two sides of the same coin – children can’t have one without the other.” 

The research backs her up. According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “cultivating the joy of learning through play is likely to encourage long-term academic success.”

This strategy is working. Grace has fun and can’t wait to come back each week. Her mom, Bethany, knows that Grace is learning skills and developing curiosity that will serve her throughout her life. 

Having recently moved to Saint Paul, their family has yet another reason to love the library – a new community. 

“We have found a family at the library. The excellent literacy programming brought us here, and the strong relationships we have built have kept us coming weekly. To see Grace’s excitement each week and how loved she is by her librarian friends is such a gift. I have also been able to meet other families from all over the world. The library gave me a sense of belonging in my new community.” – Bethany

Libraries are essential to thriving communities. The Friends is an independent, nonprofit organization that acts as a catalyst for libraries to strengthen and inspire their communities. You can make your library and your community stronger by becoming a Friend today.

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