Swanton Public Library partners with The Ability Center of Greater Toledo to bring DREAM to the Swanton Community
The Swanton Public Library (SPL) is delighted to announce a new and exciting partnership to our Children’s Department. SPL is partnering with The Ability Center of Greater Toledo to bring DREAM (Disability, Representation, Education, and Awareness in Media) to The Swanton Community. It is SPL’s pleasure to provide this resource to the Swanton Community by working with The Ability Center, an agency that aims to make our community the most disability-friendly in the county by challenging people to think differently about disability, advocating, educating, partnering, and providing services. Individuals with disabilities of all ages can lead independent lives with the support of The Ability Center. As well as advocating for people with disabilities statewide, the organization trains and places service dogs, skilled companions, and school facility dogs, and provides free durable medical equipment and ramps to people in the following counties: Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Williams and Wood County. The Ability Center has served these counties since 1920.
The disability media project, DREAM is designed to ensure children’s books created by, for, and about people with disabilities are available and easy to find at schools, libraries, and community spaces. Made up of 13 unique titles and counting. DREAM is a collection of books, donated to SPL by The Ability Center. Included in the DREAM titles are, “You are Enough; A book about Inclusion” a poignant story inspired by Sofia Sanchez, written by Margaret O’Hair, Illustrated by Sofia Cardoso. “Bodies are Cool” by Tyler Feder, a book about how everybody is different and that’s special. Both of these books were highlighted at storytime on February 28th. You can find a full list of D.R.E.A.M. titles at https://abilitycenter.org/dream/.
Beginning Tuesday, February 28th, all DREAM titles will be available for checkout and you can now search for these titles in our online card catalog system by simply searching “The Ability Center.” The titles will be located on the Children’s NEW shelf and in a couple months, they will be integrated into our children’s department, accordingly.
To launch the DREAM program at SPL, we will hold the afore mentioned Storytime on Tuesday February 28th at 10:30 am. Storytime is a regular program here at SPL with a great following of patrons, it is geared towards babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
In March, National Disability Awareness Month, we will have a DREAM event for all school-aged children and their families. Also, in March, we will be taking the DREAM storytime books to the local preschools to read and let them know that these books are available at SPL. We are excited to hold more DREAM programs throughout the 2023 year, especially for our Summer Reading Program. Some special DREAM events we are planning are: Read to a Therapy Dog, Storytime with a Therapy Dog, and EveryBODY is Special where we will focus on what makes each of us different and special and promote inclusion. There will also be another DREAM Storytime in the fall. (Dates and Times TBA.) Each program will be jampacked with fun activities. Storytimes will follow our traditional outline of 2 books read, rhymes, fingerplays and a craft time. Summer programs will include different activities for all ages of children and, of course, highlighting the DREAM book collection.
All DREAM Children’s events will be coordinated by Michelle McFarland, Children’s Department Head with assistance from Leanna Chappell, Youth Services Head and our Librarian Assistants. All of these programs will be FREE to attend. There is no registration required for storytime. Some special event programs do require registration and those will be announced in our monthly newsletter and on all of our social media platforms (search #DreamAtSPL) as well as posted around our community. For more information, check out the Swanton Public Library website at www.swantonpubliclibrary.org or contact SPL at 419-826-2760.