CPL to offer fresh start to school-aged children


This school year, the Cranston Public Library, the Cranston Public School Department, and the Mayor's Office have teamed up to make sure that every student in Cranston has a working library card with the “Fresh Start” initiative.

Mayor Allan W. Fung, Library Director Ed Garcia, and Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse accepted the Leaders Library Card Challenge, launched by President Obama in 2015, and the resulting program, Fresh Start, will begin September 2017.

“Our goal is to eliminate some of the barriers young people encounter when using the library,” said Library Director Ed Garcia.

Issues like resolving fines, replacing lost or expired cards, or even signing up for a library card for the first time, require trips to the library. Fresh Start removes this complication by allowing parents and students to simply fill out a form and submit it to their school librarian to get what they need.

“Once you have a library card, you can ask homework questions on Tutor.com, come to the library to research and print your assignments, and check out a book at midnight if you need to, using the eZone,” said Cranston Public Library’s Youth Services Coordinator, Emily Brown.

Fresh Start forms can be used for any of the following purposes:

Public school librarians will make forms available at Open House. Homeschooled and private school students can download a form from the Cranston Public Library website and return it directly to the library with proof of address. All students between the ages of 5 and 18 are invited to participate.

“I’m very pleased that our library is giving every child in Cranston with a library card balance a chance to start the year off with a clean slate,” said Mayor Allan W. Fung.

“Our nationally-recognized library system is a critical public resource and I’m proud that no child in Cranston will be deterred from seeking knowledge and taking advantage of all the innovative programs our libraries offer,” said Mayor Fung.

The 2015 Leaders Library Card Challenge was launched as part of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative.

The Library Challenge grew out of a belief that more intentional collaboration among chief elected officials, school superintendents and library directors could improve education outcomes for all students, begin to close achievement gaps and create a framework for an integrated approach to education. The Leaders Library Card Challenge led by the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) in cooperation with and funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

For more information about Fresh Start, visit cranstonlibrary.org/fresh-start.


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