A project of All Together in Dignity Fourth World Movement
Adopt an ATD Fourth World Street Library and we'll send you news about it regularly in 2013. Do it for you or for a loved one.
What do kids need to learn? Schools emphasize academic learning, but researchers are starting to talk about how “soft skills” help kids get along with others, concentrate more, and keep going when things get hard. They learn these skills the best when they’re young and schools facing always more pressure to improve test scores often don’t focus on them. Kids growing up in poverty face lots of stress every day and that can prevent them from learning these soft skills. Researchers say these skills are essential to be able to get a good education, find a good job, and move out of poverty. How can you help reverse this vicious cycle? Adopt a Street Library! (If you would like to give a SL adoption as a gift, please indicate the name and address of the person who you would like to give it to.)
A boy in the Street Library in New Orleans clearly gained in concentration and persistence. Struggling to sound out the words in a book, he got frustrated when an older girl came up and started reading the same words more easily. There was a buzz as all the other kids moved to the next fun activity. The boy ignored them and stayed with an adult to keep sounding out the words, one by one. Kids learn to read in a Street Library, but they also practice not stopping when they’re frustrated, sharing materials with other kids, and trying new things. Street Libraries develop soft skills and the whole child.
Teens and adults from all walks of life volunteer their time and imagination to Street Libraries to provide positive outlets for youth and improve their own facilitation skills. Adults from under-resourced neighborhoods read with their children, teach them how to do pottery, or break up fights that might happen nearby. Everyone contributes to building the community and everyone improves their soft skills. When kids see parents and other community members learning and working with them, it’s a great model for them to follow.
Every Street Library is a lot of work: preparing quality activities, organizing volunteers, contacting parents to show them their children’s artwork, reaching out to partner organizations, and evaluating to do even better the next week. Members of our full-time Volunteer Corps organize Street Libraries in New Orleans, New Mexico, and Montreal. Your donation will help us pay for art supplies, photos, snacks, and living stipends. It will help us keep working with the whole child, the whole family, and the whole community.