The Pleasanton City Council has accepted three separate grants that will all go toward supporting the Pleasanton Public Library's efforts to create new programs to help underserved communities and increase equitable access to existing programs and services.
Each of these grants will help advance the city's five-year ONE Pleasanton Strategic Plan goal of "Building a Community Where Everyone Belongs" by creating kits for seniors with cognitive needs, continuing to fund adult literacy services and expanding its English as a second language (ESL) services to more people, according to city officials.
"The city, through its Library and Recreation Department, operates an immensely wide spectrum of services that span all age groups and stages of life," city officials said in a statement on Nov. 8. "The department takes great efforts to ensure these programs and services uphold its commitment to inclusion and reflect the diverse needs of the community."
The council unanimously approved the resolution to accept the grants on its consent calendar Nov. 7.
The Pacific Library Partnership (PLP) gave the city just under $12,000 to create a memory kit collection for senior citizens who need services to support their cognitive needs.
PLP is one of nine regional cooperative public library systems that were "formed through a statewide effort by the California State Library to consolidate library systems throughout the state to achieve efficiencies and realize further economies of scale," according to its website.
The "Entitled Memory Kits for Adults and Their Caregivers" grant from the PLP will specifically allow Pleasanton to create these kits that will provide "stimulating activities designed to help older adults recall memories and engage in meaningful conversations about their life experiences," city officials said.
The memory kits, which will be available to seniors to use independently or with caregivers and families, will each contain assorted activities with common themes such as conversation cards, games and puzzles, and sensory items. The library is also planning on offering kits based on different decades that will include music -- and listening devices -- as well as books with news and culture from those various eras.
"The collaborative efforts of our library and senior center enable us to leverage our collective resources, as well as each area's unique expertise, to amplify the impact of our services," Heidi Murphy, the city's library and recreation director, said in the press release. "In line with our city's commitment to inclusion, we value the importance of fostering connections among community members. These memory kits and programs have the power to serve as catalysts for meaningful connections between seniors, and their family members and caregivers."
In addition to the PLP grant, the California State Library awarded nearly $105,000 in grant money to the city in the form of two separate grants.
According to the press release, $43,776 will go toward ongoing support of adult literacy services and $61,071 will go toward facilitating an expansion of ESL services to more people.
"With this investment in adult literacy and ESL services, we take a meaningful step towards building a more inclusive community," Murphy said. "The support of these grants helps provide individuals with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to engage fully in our community."
According to the press release, the city has been providing adult literacy services since 1985 and began receiving funding from the California State Library in 2006.
During the last fiscal year, the California Library Literacy Services also awarded the city with a supplemental grant to create ESL services.
"The grants served a combined total of 291 adult English-language learners and 126 volunteer tutors, which represented a 300% rise in the number of learners served," city officials said. "Learner feedback indicates that these opportunities fill critical needs that include speaking English and language fluency, building community connections and utilizing unique supports not found elsewhere in the community such as Wi-Fi, computers, printing, books and materials, and library programs."