April 1, 2021
Great Start Collaborative Partner Spotlight: Grand Rapids Public Library
The Grand Rapids Public Library has been a Great Start Collaborative Partner for many years bringing their experience and services to families across Grand Rapids. Betsy Zandstra, Youth Services Librarian, took the time to share some of the great work families can access at their eight branches.
What programs do you offer for young children and their families?
- Grand Rapids Public Library currently offers Storytime Kits with contents offered in English and Spanish, Book Bundles, Phone-A-Story with stories and songs in Spanish and English , the Today I Feel… series about talking about feelings and emotions , GRPL Selects which includes mindfulness and wellness resources for children, teens, and adults, talking about COVID and current events with children, play learning and activity resources, virtual field trips, and read-aloud stories. We also offer Virtual Storytimes including Let’s Talk About Race Family Storytimes, Vamos a Leer, and Black History Month storytimes. Look for more information on GRPL’s social media and website in April about Mindfulness Boxes for families and this Summer for information about Outdoor Storytimes and the Summer Reading Challenge.
How to families enroll in your programs?
- All the programs are free and open to all families! The Grab and Go kits are available at all GRPL locations while supplies last. Virtual programs are available online 24/7.
How does your organization use parent voice to inform your programs?
- We so appreciate parent feedback! We use surveys and discussion during in-person programming, and try to have regular community conversions although that’s difficult during the pandemic.
What do you most appreciate about your GSC membership?
- The fact that GSC brings together so many stakeholders all with the same goal of improving quality of life for young children. Regular opportunities to hear updates on initiatives and projects in the community. Discover shared goals and opportunities for partnership with other organizations through our GSC involvement.