The PNW students are gaining valuable knowledge in designing curriculum, researching appropriate class materials and developing take-home learning activities. They have hands-on experience dealing with the children and adults in the same setting they will encounter on the job.
“It has been a year of revelation to me,” said Millette Noble, of LaPorte. “It is great to see pre-schoolers so engaged with reading. They really want to learn.”
Victoria DeMan, of Valparaiso, found the opportunity to select the reading materials to be enlightening. “I learned the importance of the different kinds of books available. We read books to see the lessons they taught, the messages sent. That was a factor in what we chose to present.”
For some PNW students, this is their first opportunity to work with parents.
“Parents are so willing to ask questions and make sure they do what’s best for their child,” said Bri Majewski. “The communication with parents helps to let us know how we’re doing.”
Angela Krueger, of Hebron, looks forward to a career as a reading specialist. “I love books and reading with kids. Library Sprouts brings parents in to the child’s world. Having a book to keep reinforces what they learned here.”
Lauren Mathis, of Valparaiso, found that the library programs give parents an opportunity to meet other parents. “It means a lot to see parents so involved with literacy,” she said. “We see that the books are going to be utilized and lessons learned here will be repeated at home.”
Eisenhauer noted that literacy skills are key to a child’s intellectual development and enhances speaking, listening, reading and writing abilities. She cited research that indicates children who have many books at home achieve three more years of school than children in homes without as many books, regardless of the parents’ education level. Of primary importance is having a parent and child read a storybook together.
The library program is particularly meaningful for Kelly Salyer, of Westville. “I grew up coming to the Westville library,” she explained. “It is amazing to see this taking place in my community. As these children grow up, it will help to make our community stronger.”
Katie Osborn, of Chesterton, noted that this is the first opportunity some children have had to interact with children their own age. “It’s a positive experience for them and they look forward to coming.”
The PNW students are thrilled to see children hug their new books and open them immediately to review. Parents note that siblings at home enjoy the books as well and have their own reading time.
Each semester, parents are surveyed about their Library Sprouts experiences. Positive remarks followed every question, with many asking for more sessions to be offered.
Said Eisenhauer, “Our most important outcome is creating a community culture that values early literacy and provides an essential support network for young families.”
For more information, call: 219-785-5485
To request a disability related accommodation for these events, please contact Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at
Hammond 219 989-2163