San Diego County Library (SDCL) keeps kids safe and engaged when school isn’t in session. Offering more than 4,000 after school programs last year with 54,780 kids and teens in attendance, the library provides essential services to students and their families. Many branches offer regular craft programs, chess clubs, book clubs, Rockin’ Recess, and volunteer opportunities for teens. Homework Help is offered at ten branches each week and connects kids with volunteer tutors. Students can also get help from home by using one of SDCL’s many databases, located here.
A special program offered at the Spring Valley and Lincoln Acres Branches is the Techno Book Club. The Techno Book Club connects low-income tweens with mentorship opportunities through literacy, technology, and critical conversations. Each month the participants and their mentors (often members of the County’s Employee Resource Groups) select a new book to read on Nook e-readers and meet to discuss it.
SDCL also helps younger kids get ready to start school by helping them build early literacy skills. Research shows that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. SDCL’s Discovery Zones encourage families to utilize the library to build early literacy and prekindergarten skills through fun and interactive toys and activities. Kids who start school prepared to learn perform better and are more successful long term. In addition to the Discovery Zones, SDCL launched 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten in January 2015 as a new way of encouraging families to read to their young children. The program includes an interactive reading log for children and parents to enjoy together, prizes for every 250 books read, and thousands of brand new children’s books available for checkout at branches.