Start Smart with SPARK
Stark Library's reading and readiness program leads children on the path to success.
Here at Stark Library, we believe in investing in our community’s greatest asset—our children. Strong children equal strong communities; that’s why we believe it takes a village to build a brighter tomorrow. The Library is an essential part of that village—where all are welcomed, encouraged, and celebrated.
“SPARK is just one of the many ways the Library connects families with the tools and resources they need to help their children Start Smart.” - Julia Shaheen, Literacy Manager
With changing times, expectations, and technologies, we’re all expected to know more, do more, and be more—it can be difficult to keep up. This skill-gap can start as early as kindergarten, putting nearly half of children behind before they even start!
Instead of simply knowing how to color and identify shapes, kids are now expected to know how to read and even do basic math. That’s why one of the Library’s main priorities is to help our community Start Smart with a strong foundation of early literacy skills. One way we do that is with SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids), a kindergarten readiness program.
SPARK’s goal is to empower parents to be their child’s first and best teacher and to foster a lifelong love of learning. Each SPARK family is guided through the process by a Parent Partner, who conducts in-home visits to work with parents and share activities that build a firm foundation.
SPARK Parent Partners aren’t just coaches, they form close bonds with the families they work with. They are trained to identify signs of barriers to school readiness and connect families with the resources that really make a difference in their lives.
SPARK is a collaboration with the Early Childhood Resource Center which connects the schools, families, and communities in nine Ohio counties and nearly 22 districts, to ensure a child’s success in school. This school year, SPARK will work with over 1000 early learners in Stark County—that’s a lot of future leaders!
Children who have quality experiences with early learning are more likely to stay in school, go to college and have successful careers. The results speak for themselves: SPARK children score higher on state testing than their peers—even years later, and it’s all thanks to the village.
Do you have a 3 or 4-year old getting ready for Kindergarten? Our SPARK Parent Partners can help you and your child prepare for success in school. Call 330.491.3272 for more information.