The OSU-Cascades campus has over 10% of its student population self-reporting as parents/caregivers. Balancing school, family, and work is a big task, so finding time to visit the public library for books and activities could be difficult. To support students who have young children, the Cascades library will launch a collection of Early Literacy Bags: tote bags that come complete with a selection of picture books, an early learning-based toy or game, and additional activities for a family to use together.

These bags are a partnership between the library and Dr. Rachael Shuetz’s Masters of Teaching students. MAT candidates developed a variety of book lists on topics such as multicultural celebrations and exploring nature. One list is designed specifically for families who are bilingual in English and Spanish. The candidates also suggested some of the supplementary activities that will accompany the kits. The Cascades Library will purchase all the materials for this project with the goal of having the bags ready for checkout in the new year.

Working collaboratively on the project supports the needs of the MAT students to gain real-life experience in developing literacy programs and saves the library a bit of time on the selection of books for the bags. The bags will come with instructions for users to fill out a survey, providing data on the use, efficacy, and enjoyment of this new offering from the library. Thanks to Dr. Shuetz and her students for bringing so much enthusiasm to this project!

Posted - November 13, 2023