Published : Monday, July 17, 2017 | 5:39 AM
The Pasadena Public Library has received new grants that will significantly support two important learning initiatives of the City: its STEAM 18 Initiative that coincides with a major international space science conference in Pasadena next year, and the launch of the “Pasadena as an Early Learning City 2025” movement this September.
Pasadena’s Chief Librarian Michelle Perera, Director of Libraries and Information Services, said the public library has been awarded a $100,000 Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grant by the California State Library, and another $12,000 grant by First 5 LA, a nonprofit child-advocacy organization that is part of the First 5 California Children and Families Act.
In a memorandum to City Manager Steve Mermell Wednesday, Perera said the LSTA grant will be used to fund the STEAM 18 Initiative – the observance of the Year of STEAM in Pasadena – as the City hosts the 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly.
COSPAR is the Committee on Space Research of the International Council of Scientific Unions. The assembly, scheduled for July 14 to 22, 2018, will mark the 60th anniversary of the launch of Explorer-1, built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory inside Caltech, which is the official host for COSPAR 2018. The assembly itself will be at the Pasadena Convention Center, and is expected to attract over 3,000 of the leading space scientists and space leaders from as many as 70 countries.
In preparation for the international event, the Pasadena Public Library and a city-wide committee has started to create STEAM-related programming that will be offered to the public at the City’s 10 public library sites and other Pasadena venues.
The committee includes almost every educational, cultural and art institution in Pasadena, among them the Pasadena Unified School District, the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena Museum of History, Collaborate PASadena, Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena Arts and Cultural Affairs Division, and Carnegie Observatory.
Perera said the public library will be producing STEAM kits that will be circulated throughout the City’s libraries, school classrooms, and outreach events during COSPAR 2018.
Meanwhile, the $12,000 grant from First 5 LA will be used in the launching of the Pasadena as an Early Learning City 2025 movement on September 23.
The launch will also signal the start of the “Master Plan for The Young Child” project, the first step in a five-year master plan to “unite diverse programs and services in the city into a cohesive and family-centered system” focusing on programs for the improvement of the lives of young children up to age five.
Perera said the launch will feature a free family day at Brookside Park, which will include activities for parents and caregivers, children, grandparents, childcare providers and early childhood teachers, advocates and community residents.