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PLA Receives ASAE Power of A Summit and Gold Awards for Every Child Ready to Read Literacy Program

CHICAGO, IL — The Public Library Association (PLA) has earned 2016 American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Power of A Summit and Gold Awards for its co-creation and implementation of Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), a research-based program that employs public libraries to teach parents how to help develop literacy skills in their children, as well as advance the training of public library staff.

ASAE honored PLA which worked with the Association for Library Service to Children and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to develop toolkit materials and training to impact parent behavior. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the country’s 16,700 individual public library buildings have used ECRR in some capacity.

“Congratulations to PLA for its hard work and for helping to make the world a better place,” said Sharon J. Swan, FASAE, CAE, chief executive officer of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “Their initiative exemplifies how associations are a positive force in our everyday lives – not just to the profession or industry they represent, but to society at large.”

Traditionally, early literacy programs focus on children, rather than parent education. ECRR increases public library impact on early literacy through changing caregiving behaviors and developing library staff skills. Through a focus on active learning, ECRR creates a library environment that supports early literacy and offers hands-on opportunities for families.

“Research studies, including the 2000 National Assessment of Educational Progress, found that a significant percentage of children were entering kindergarten without the early skills needed to learn to read,” said PLA President, Felton Thomas, Jr. “ECRR leverages the perception of the public library as a literacy center but goes beyond ‘story time’ and book circulation by giving library staff resources – tools for programs, and enduring skills – to change parent behavior.”

The ECRR toolkit, available in both English and Spanish, includes background and research which validates the approach and educates library professionals about early literacy science. The core toolkit elements are the presentation tools for six workshops; four are for patrons and two are designed to increase library staff skills.

ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels. The Power of A Awards reward outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive workforce, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.  

About the Public Library Association (PLA)                 
PLA is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, visit www.pla.org or contact the PLA office at 1 (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or pla@ala.org.

About the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. From creative programming and best practices to continuing education and professional connections—ALSC members are innovators in the field of children’s library service. ALSC’s network includes more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other adults dedicated to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more, visit www.ala.org/alsc.

About the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
NICHD was established in 1962 to study the complex process of human development from conception to old age. Its mission is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from reproductive processes, and that all children have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives, free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation. To learn more, visit www.nichd.nih.gov.

About the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies, and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. To learn more, visit asaecenter.org.

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