BERGENFIELD, NJ -- The Bergenfield Public Library is pleased to announce that it has won funding from the New Jersey State Library’s CARES Act Mini-grant program. “Bridging a Bilingual Bergenfield” is a full-scale campaign to actively promote bilingual learning programs in the Borough, targeting the specific needs of bilingual youth and adults and providing them with specific equipment to assist in increasing digital literacy in an inclusive environment.
“It is outstanding news that our library has received grant funding that allowed it to purchase critical equipment that our residents will be able to take advantage of,” said Mayor Amatorio. “Our Borough works hard to get money back from the state and federal government so that we can deliver excellent services at no cost to taxpayers and this is another example of that work paying off.”
The new equipment will increase engagement in reading and cross curricular subjects, sparking genuine interest and developing skill building and comprehension from a young age into adulthood.
With the grant funds, the Bergenfield Public Library purchased an AllinOne Early Literacy Station with Bilingual Spanish module from AWE Digital Learning. This technology offers children 4,000+ customizable bilingual literacy activities, 14 interactive e-books, 70+ software applications, a 20 inch touch screen with keyboard and a safe and secure web browser. The workstation caters to all learning styles (visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and auditory) as well as to those with minimal mobility or motor skill control.
“As a result of the library being awarded this money by the New Jersey State Library’s CARES Act Mini-grant Program, we will be able to provide our ESL students with new state of the art technology that will better assist them in learning english,” said Bergenfield Library Director Allison Ballo. “Bergenfield residents that do not have access to a computer or the internet at home can come to the library and get assistance from our staff and get the support that they need to help them along their english language journey.”
To supplement the extensive work of its English as a Second Language (ESL) program, the library also used the grant funding to purchase a collection of adult ESL Launchpads from Findaway. These devices are preloaded learning tablets that teach words, phrases, pronunciation, writing, grammar, and spelling in American English utilizing effective tutorials, flash cards, and quizzes. These five devices are targeted specifically to adults and include lessons on U.S. Law, English grammar, spelling and writing.
Launchpads are available to all Bergenfield cardholders as part of the Library’s fledgling “Library of Things” collection. These devices are vital for non-native speakers who may not have access to a computer at home and are in significant need of off-site bilingual learning programs. Adults who are not tech savvy can feel comfortable using these devices since they are self-contained and cannot be easily broken/damaged.
The “Bridging a Bilingual Bergenfield” project supports not only the Library’s core values of access for residents and celebrating the town’s diversity, but the primary goal in its strategic plan, where the library will serve as “leading the community as the primary cultural and civic center for lifelong learning.” The purchase of the various equipment will directly aid in bilingual residents’ understanding of technology and access to literacy resources so they can explore topics of personal interest and continue to learn throughout their lives.
The “Bridging a Bilingual Bergenfield” project is supported with funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the New Jersey State Library.
For more information about these new services, visit www.bergenfieldlibrary.org.