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We've been amazed at the distances people will drive to bring their children to the workshop here - usually when the other locations have filled up. We've had parents drive 40 minutes across town, and come from towns north of Denver. They can't find anything like it anywhere else. This library is located in a high-need area, and being a Family Place Library has allowed us to further strengthen our community partnerships with area schools and agencies.
At our library's cafe, the barista overheard parents raving about the Parent Child Workshop. It was the best program they had attended, they loved meeting new and old friends, and appreciated the reassurance they could get from the community specialists. Most of the time, parents just need a little reassurance that everything is on track with their child. But often enough, the workshop specialist will refer the parent for free early assessments that are offered in our area. Catching problems early is key.
Our Family Place spaces have become popular community hubs, providing early learning benefits for our young families while raising the profile of our libraries. For example, the Smoky Hill branch is located in a very diverse area. At the workshop, one of the most common concerns parents have on speech day is about how and whether to raise their child to be bilingual. Our speech pathologist has been able to offer sound, research-based advice - a huge service for these parents. The most frequent feedback we receive on surveys is a request to "Please do this program more often."