The Dothan Houston County Library System has recently expanded its selection of resources for parents who want to help their children enter school ready to learn, a project made possible through the Alabama Public Library Service. Developed by the Bay Area Discovery Museum with support from the California State Library and the Pacific Library Partnership, the Reimagining School Readiness (RSR) Toolkit is a set of free resources built on proven strategies for parents and caregivers that will help children develop early literacy skills and enter school ready to learn.

DHCLS was among 88 public libraries selected to participate in training in RSR principles, which include quality adult-child interactions, social skills, math and science learning, executive functions, stress, and growth mindset. Using these principles as a foundation, each RSR toolkit contains a selection of books, hands-on learning materials, and activity guides for young children and their caregivers. Each RSR kit also focuses on a particular theme, such as counting, patterns, shapes, and emotions.

“We’re so proud that our library could be part of this initiative,” says Kristin North, DHCLS Youth Services Manager. “These toolkits will provide our staff and the families we serve with even more resources to help kids develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.”

DHCLS has ten kits available for checkout. Library patrons can view the library’s selection of RSR kits by visiting www.dhcls.org, clicking “Catalog,” and searching for “reimagining school readiness.” RSR kits check out for 21 days. The kits are housed at the Main Library, but patrons can also place a hold on a kit and request to pick it up at any DHCLS location.

Established in 1949, DHCLS today serves a population of approximately 105,000 residents through its main library, two branches, a bookmobile, and an extensive selection of ebooks and digital resources. In FY 2021, DHCLS welcomed over 111,000 visitors, and DHCLS patrons borrowed over 170,000 items, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, and ebooks. DHCLS offers a variety of innovative services, such as the Library of Things, a Seed Library, and Story Walks at Kiwanis Park and Walton Park. The library also offers programs for children, teens, and adults, ranging from storytimes, craft programs, technology instruction, and job search assistance.

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