3 Dodge County libraries receive grants

Hustisford Community Library received a Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation grant. From left are Stephanie Shotton, Annie Bahringer, Monica Wasemiller and Katelyn Stark.

The Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation and its Every Child Thrives partners have awarded grants to the Beaver Dam Community Library, Hustisford Community Library and Juneau Public Library to bring additional TalkReadPlay programs to the community.

TalkReadPlay is a community awareness campaign facilitated by Every Child Thrives, a multi-sector collective impact effort involving more than 30 partners in Dodge and Jefferson counties. Based on child development brain science showing that 90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5, the campaign builds the capacity of families to thrive as their child’s first teacher by offering tools and programs that promote the development of early social, emotional and literacy skills. To date, more than 500 TalkReadPlay trusted messengers across the two counties are helping families to create brain-building opportunities for their babies and young children.

TalkReadPlay Library Accelerator Grants are providing funding for library spaces and materials that promote play, brain-building, social emotional learning and parent-child interactions. Grants for the three libraries total $3,850, with additional in-kind technical support of $1,500 being provided from GWCHF.

Grant funds will allow the Beaver Dam Public Library to develop a mobile “Exploratorium” that will feature inclusive materials, books and activities that promote talking, reading, playing, writing and singing. The Hustisford Community Library and Juneau Public Library will create more interactive, collaborative spaces with sensory play kits for children and families.

“Positive, nurturing experiences between young children and their parents are so important in providing a solid foundation for learning and life,” said Sarah Myers, program officer for the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation. “Our libraries play a very important role in offering the spaces and programs that support these interactions. We are pleased to partner with them to continue the momentum of the TalkReadPlay movement across our two counties.”

In total, GWCHF has committed more than $4 million in grants and in-kind support to support TalkReadPlay efforts across Dodge and Jefferson counties. This latest round of grants to libraries is in addition to a $2.5 million gift to develop a regional flagship TalkReadPlay Center at the Watertown Public Library.

For more information on TalkReadPlay, visit www.talkreadplaywi.com.

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