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City Libraries, Schools Team up to Maximize Services

HARTFORD — The city’s public schools and libraries have formed a partnership aimed at allowing students to take fuller advantage of library resources, such as online books  and enrichment activities, through programs tailored to the families served by each  school.

The Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Public Library on Wednesday kicked off this cooperative venture seeking to maximize their services for students and their parents, while improving literacy skills, a joint press release said.

The plan divides the city into ten zones, each anchored by a library branch that will collaborate with every school in its zone to create the targeted programs.

The announcement was made at the Goodwin Public Library Branch on New Britain Avenue which will pilot the program, allied with the Breakthrough Magnet School, the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, the Expeditionary Learning at Moylan School, the Montessori Magnet at Moylan, Kennelly School  and Batchelder Elementary School.

Plans call for all 10 library branches to have working relationships with their zone schools within two years with the Godwin setup serving as a template.

The school district and the library will also form a citywide leadership team, consisting of a branch manager, a library media specialist and a technology expert to oversee and facilitate expansion of the plan.

Among the features that are expected to be added are new after-school and summer enrichment programs that focus on love of reading and learning, tutoring services, the use of library facilities to display student art exhibits and the development of a special website that grants students and teachers access to the library’s storehouse of online books.

According to the public library’s chief executive officer, Matthew K. Poland,  “Sharing collections, technology and staff expertise in both organizations will facilitate the development of literacy skills that are key to successful and productive careers”

Hartford Schools Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto said, “I expect that our collaboration with Hartford Public Library will have very positive implications for our efforts to have every child reading at grade level by third grade and for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.”

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