Smart Start Kits
2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Yuma County, Ariz., AZ
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Libraries (Best in Category)
The Main Library (a branch of the Yuma County Library District) began developing the Smart Start Kit program to offer children and their caregivers early literacy through take-home interactive kits. This program was designed to help the Library better serve its youth population by exposing children to high-quality early learning. The Library provided a variety of kits with different themes that included books and teaching materials for their caretakers to use community resources. Through participation in this program, the children would have access to high-quality learning experiences rich in language and literacy that would help reduce learning gaps and ensure that children are ready to start reading when they enter kindergarten. Because families are a child's first teachers, it is vital to strengthen their role by providing the necessary tools to succeed academically. The smart Start Kits program was launched in October 2019, and the kits were available for any patron to borrow. The kits contained carefully selected children's books, music, toys, and puzzles that caregivers could use to help profoundly influence literacy and language development, the foundations for all other learning. The varied themes included animals, counting, alphabet, special needs, space, nursery rhymes, transportation, bilingualism, and beginner's science.