Public Library Programming for Families with Young Children: Parent Perceptions of the Fun with Math & Science Program
There is a serious need for high quality early childhood programming in the state of Arizona. More than half of children under the age of six are living below the poverty line, and Arizona is ranked 47th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in education (Tirozzi, 2014). The Scottsdale Public Library (SPL) system is fighting to combat this issue by providing free, interactive parent-child classes that are aligned with the Arizona Early Learning Standards in order to support school readiness; additionally, these programs are also aligned with the Arizona School Readiness Framework. This thesis project focuses on the Fun with Math & Science (FMS) program, one of three Knowing and Growing programs, implemented across six Scottsdale Public Library locations. This program is an extremely interactive, parent-child class that aims to improve children's basic science and math skills. The purpose of this study is to understand the population of families attending FMS at SPL, as well as parent perceptions of the programming and its impact on their family. This study also focuses on a subset of families who participated in this research at two of the give Scottsdale Public Libraries. Interviews with parents were conducted and provide insightful information about parent and child experiences participating in the program at the library.