March 16, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(301) 699-3500, ext. 6152
Largo, Maryland ‒ The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) offers a range of engaging programs for children and families to promote early literacy and kindergarten readiness. This spring, PGCMLS will offer the new “Hatchlings: Read to Hatch” program to expectant mothers as a part of the Maryland State Library’s Hatchlings pilot project from March to June, 2021. PGCMLS is one of only four library systems in Maryland selected to participate. This program is based on the award-winning early-literacy Mother Goose on the Loose: Hatchlings program for parents and caregivers of children from birth to 3 years old and the Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings program for premature babies and their mothers created by Betsy Diamant-Cohen, DCD.
In March and April, PGCMLS library staff will initially work with partners like the County’s two Judy Hoyer Centers to recruit and register families for these sessions. Interested families can register directly with the center or organization where they are affiliated. The program will be available in both English and Spanish. This program will increase participant awareness of the importance of reading, singing, and talking to their babies daily, before, and after birth. “We want to empower parents as their child’s first and best teacher,” commented Pamela Hamlin, Family Literacy Specialist at PGCMLS.
Parents that attend “Hatchlings: Read to Hatch” will gain knowledge about key developmental stages in their newborns along with participating in fun activities that provide age-appropriate stimulation. The goal for parents and caregivers is to develop a daily reading routine with their babies. Participants will receive a board book, song sheet, and early literacy calendar to use with their newborns and be invited back in the fall to attend “Hatchlings: In the Nest,” a series of parent/infant storytimes.
With the support of community partners, the awareness of library programs, resources, and services will increase among families that are underrepresented and are not established library users. Additional “Read to Hatch” programs with partners and through the library will be offered later in the spring. For more information, please contact Pamela Hamlin.
The Hatchlings project steering committee includes Carrie Sanders, Maryland State Library; Dorothy Stoltz, Carroll County Public Library; and Elaine Czarnecki, Early Literacy and Assessment Consultant. The three other library systems involved in the pilot project are Carroll County Public Library, Calvert County Library, and Howard County Library System.
Children from birth to age 5 that reside in the County are invited to participate in PGCMLS’ Books from Birth program to receive a free book by mail every month. MakeMake (Lectorum) offers animated children’s ebooks in Spanish (and bilingual English/Spanish). OverDrive includes appropriate ebooks and audiobooks for kids.
About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System
The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 915,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve booklovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike.
PGCMLS’ robust online offerings include curated content collections for kids, teens, educators, Spanish speakers, and more. Virtual events and outreach provide access to the Library from the comfort of home or on the go. Special programs include the D.R.E.A.M. Lab, STEM Pals, and 3D printing, which offer teens and lifelong learners with opportunities to learn cutting-edge technology and STEM skills for job readiness or personal enrichment. The Library also provides drive-up WiFi access at all branches and mobile hotspot devices. The Library’s Laurel Branch Library received the 2018 AIA/ALA Library Building Award and was designated the best new public building in Maryland.
As a strong community partner, the Library regularly collaborates with local government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide access to essential community services and programs. Partners include the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission, Employ Prince George’s, Prince George's County Public Schools, and Prince George’s Community College. Learn more at pgcmls.info or by visiting the Largo-Kettering Branch at 9601 Capital Lane, Largo, MD 20721. Curbside Services are available Tuesday-Friday (1-6 pm) and Saturday (1-5 pm) at 16 of the Library’s branches.