Dauphin County Library System: Open for Discovery!
  • Parent Resources

    Open for Discovery Bags
    Are your kids ready for School? Immunizations - PDF
    Central Penn Parent Magazine
    KidsHealth – information for both parents and kids
    National Parent Information Network
    National Resource Center on AD/HD
    Parents' Place – features issues from pregnancy through elementary school
    Today's Parent
    Dr. Toy – recommends the best toys for kids.

    Childcare in your area

    Childcare Provider Information
    A Parent Guide: Steps to Selecting a Child Care Program

    Early Learning

    Visit Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare
    Learn About Early Literacy Skills

    Increasing evidence has emerged to show that children's learning opportunities in the years before kindergarten have an important effect on their performance in school and ultimately their ability to contribute to society as adults. Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Pennsylvania is helping our children, families, teachers and communities reach their promise.

    If you are looking for help to pay child care expenses, or if you need help figuring out how to care for and educate your young child, Child Care Works can help. For more information, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS. You can also find help and information at your local Child Care Information Services office.

    Learn about "Read Across America"

    Home schooling Resources

    Pennsylvania Home Education Network
    Home Education websites
    Math and Reading Help for Kids

    School Finders

    National School Directory – locate public and private schools
    Pennsylvania System of School Assessment School Profiles

    Teaching & Lesson Planning

    Lesson Planning

    Ask ERIC – includes access to the ERIC database
    B.J. Pinchbeck's Homework Helper
    BiblioCat – Resources for librarians, teachers, parents and home-schoolers
    Children's Literature Web Guide
    Class Brain
    Cyberschoolbus – United Nations
    DCLS Homework Resources
    Discovery Channel
    DLTK Crafts
    Education World
    Great Sites for Kids
    Helping Your Child Learn – series from the Dept. of Education
    Kidsdomain – a family resource
    The Minipage Lessons
    Online Texts for Young People – Some classics available online from U. of Va.
    US Dept. of Education

    Children and Statistics

    Dauphin County Rated “High Risk” for Failure of Children in School

    Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of providing Pennsylvania’s young children with access to quality early learning opportunities sponsored by the PA Build Initiative, Pennsylvania Early Learning Keys to Quality, The Grable Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and William Penn Foundation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), rates all counties in PA for risk of failure for children in school.  Dauphin County has a “High Risk” ranking.  This is higher than York, Lancaster, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Northumberland, Snyder, Juniatia, Perry or Cumberland Counties.  In fact, of the sixty-seven counties in PA, only eighteen of them are ranked as “High Risk.”  

    Positioning Dauphin County for Increased Early Learning

    In order to position the Dauphin County Library System as the hub of early learning in the county, the library system must implement new and innovative ways of doing business.

    This process began two years ago when the system began a comprehensive evaluation of Youth Services. As the evaluation progressed, changes have taken place.  Collection Development has been centralized for youth collections and a new position was created at the system level to guide Youth Services Programming and Outreach. These first steps have set the stage for the System to evolve its programming and outreach to a level that would position the library system as the forefront institution for helping families and practitioners build successful futures for the children of Harrisburg and Dauphin County.

    Benchmarking Library Programs to State Educational Standards

    Already the library system is working toward benchmarking its programming to the State's Standards for Early Learning in order to align library programming with Pennsylvania's best practices for the learning continuum. However, DCLS practices must evolve further. Youth Librarians, Library Managers and, in fact, all library staff, must learn the need for and practice of early learning experiences. This requires a new way of business that is supported by research, model programs that have shown success and an understanding of how children learn.
    DCLS is working to provide training and support to DCLS staff to incorporate both state and national standards and initiatives into the services provided to families by the system.

    Not Just for Children

    DCLS is committed to providing quality programming and services to the children of Dauphin County.  However, to serve only the children would ignore the most crucial role that the library plays in the educational process.  The public library has a unique and important role to play in educating and empowering those who love and care for children; parent and caregivers.  Programming and services need to empower parents, grandparents, childcare practitioners and early education practitioners to understand and implement the best practices in early learning.  Programming for children incorporates information for parents and caregivers on how to extend learning into the home and provides information about what quality early learning experiences look like.  Trainings for parents and caregivers will become part of the service continuum at DCLS to ensure that those who spend the most time, and have the most impact on the educational success of children are informed and empowered to be a child’s “first and forever teacher.”

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