Library reaches out to home-schooling families
According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 1.77 million children were being home-schooled in 2011, a 62 percent increase from 2003. Heights Libraries is reaching out to this growing population with its Home-schooling Meet and Greet on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Lee Road Library. The event aims to welcome homeschooling families and find out directly from them how the library can best support them.
“We are interested in finding out what the needs are for the homeschooling community, so that we can create programming specifically designed to meet their unique needs and better serve them,” said Tamara Murray, youth services associate and event organizer. “We feel that it is essential to get this valuable input, because there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ home-schooling family.”
The home-schooling movement attracts families from all religions, races and socioeconomic backgrounds who choose to teach their children at home for many reasons, ranging from the desire to educate a child with special needs, such as autism, ADHD or giftedness, to more traditional reasons, such as instilling particular values and maintaining specific religious beliefs.
Sam Lapides, manager of youth services, said he realized there was a need to reach out to home-schooling families after he spoke with several parents who told him there were few resources that specifically met their needs in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights area.
“This gives us a great opportunity to expand our services to support home-schooling families who could benefit from targeted library programs and services,” said Lapides. “Our hope is that we can eventually provide a small reading and resource library, develop programs that can enrich the curriculum that home-schoolers are teaching their children, and to provide opportunities for them to network.”
The event will primarily be a question-and-answer session where home-schooling families can meet library staff, learn about existing library resources, and brainstorm about possible new programs and services.
The Lee Road Library is located at 2345 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Families are encouraged to register for the program at www.heightslibrary.org or by calling 216-932-3600.
Sheryl Banks is the marketing and community relations manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.