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What is Project LIFT?
Project LIFT (Literacy Involves Families Together) is a multi-week family literacy outreach program for teen parents in Tucson and Pima County. It provides an opportunity for parents of young children to develop their creative, imaginative, illustrative, and writing skills through the creation of children's books. Project LIFT participants:
- Create baby books of cloth, paper, and other materials
- Learn songs and rhymes to share with their children; and start a personalized keepsake
- Choose books for their child to keep
Project LIFT reaches young people enrolled in parenting programs in local school districts, alternative education programs, and social service agencies.
Project LIFT has been so successful that it has been replicated to over 46 sites in Pima County over the past ten years that the library has been providing this program. The program can be scaled to different class sizes and locations.
Read more about Project LIFT on WebJunction.
What is the purpose?
The goal of the project is to help enrich a child's language development by reaching out to the whole family. The purpose are to:
- Bring reading and reading-related activities into the daily lives of teen parents, their babies and extended families
- Promote reading and teach young parents how to develop their child's reading readiness skills
Why is a literacy project important?
Research shows that reading aloud is the most significant activity that a parent can engage in with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
- It can contribute to the development of critical language and pre-reading skills
- Babies and toddlers who are read to, are more likely to become readers
- Children with early exposure to reading early have a higher success rate in school
How is Project LIFT funded?
Original funding came from a grant from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Project LIFT was the only public library program to receive a 1997 grant from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Now Project LIFT is funded through a variety of sources:
- Pima County Public Library budget
- Support from Friends of Pima County Public Library
Who is eligible to participate in Project LIFT?
Teen parents in existing parenting programs in schools, alternative education programs, and social service agencies.
What is taught in the program?
The program consists of ten sessions, which are broken out as follows:
- Session 1: Benefits of Reading to Baby
- Session 2: Understanding the Magic of Bonding
- Session 3: Types of Books that Babies and Children Like
- Session 4: Planning for the Construction of a Cloth Book
- Sessions 5-9: Book Making
- Session 10: Graduation/Celebration
The parents make a book for their children incorporating one lesson that they would like to teach their child into the book. They may want to teach their children how to spell their names, learn the alphabet and numbers, or help them learn manners.
At the graduation/celebration, participants receive a completion certificate and a library canvas bag to use on their visits to the library.