Sacramento Library and Child Abuse Prevention Center Shared Resources

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar
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Katie DeKorte and Derek Slama talk about how the program is meant to prepare children for school and to prevent child abuse and neglect.
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Katie DeKorte leads the group through the song, Talk. Sing. Read. Write. Play.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Attendees at Folsom Cordova Community Partnership’s monthly Connections Café cited dogs, children, passports, marriage proposals, a handmade gift card from a son, as memorable gifts, along with books, perfect gifts for one of the day’s presenters, Katie DeKorte, MLIS, Youth Services Librarian at Rancho Cordova Library. Books are also important, in a different way, for the opening presenter, Derek Slama, Collaboration Program Support for The Child Abuse Prevention Center.

Slama spoke about the new Family Support Initiative which began earlier this year and is funded through the California Department of Social Services CalWORKs Home Visiting Initiative.

“Counties have the option to apply,” he said about the free in-home program that collaborates with the County of Sacramento Department of Human Assistance and Birth & Beyond Family Resource Centers.

Goal setting within the family is the initiative’s focus. Each family has its own goals and needs that might include housing or employment.

The program is “tailored to each community to bring culturally relevant programming,” said Slama, and is meant to prepare children for school and to prevent child abuse or neglect. It expands on Birth & Beyond’s offerings that work with families with children up to 17 years old for a limit of 3 – 6 months. Birth & Beyond was established in 1999 and provides classes on car seat use and keeping babies safe while sleeping. It offers separate programs for fathers and mothers, employment and homework assistance, support for grandparents, transportation, and much more.

The Family Support Initiative, on the other hand, works with families and caregivers who have a first child under 24 months or are pregnant with no other children. In an effort to reduce the number of infant deaths, families will be connected to additional resources like health care, bill paying, employment, or housing, and gain insight on how babies learn and grow through scheduled visits that will continue for the long term.

“We don’t turn anybody away,” said Slama, saying that they will meet with families in the community.

Neither do the 28 libraries and two book mobiles of the Sacramento Public Library system.

“We will always be the book place,” said Katie DeKorte, who whipped out her library card, the gateway to DVDs, books, audiobooks, e-books, and adventures.

Each library offers something unique. Central and Arcade house Design Spots. Arcade and Fair Oaks house Library of Things with Go Pro cameras, musical instruments, and sewing machines to borrow. Most feature book clubs, exhibits, and presentations.              

Online borrowing includes e-books and e-audiobooks through Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla. To learn new skills, read a newspaper, finish high school, or learn one of 100 languages, Sacramento Public Library is, according to DeKorte, the place to look.

English conversation groups, job coaching, adult literacy, and veterans’ services are also available at different libraries. Rancho Cordova’s library has a dedicated Veterans Connect program. Even passport services are available, which surprised many attendees.

DeKorte began her career as a teen volunteer, moved up to a paid position as a shelver, and now focuses on programming and services for young people including Read to a Dog, summer reading program which kicked off May 15, and coordinating volunteers for her library.

The summer reading program encourages children, teens, and adults to read books, attend programs, or create playlists for a book. Prizes include free books, tote bags that double as grocery bags, and medals. Rancho Cordova will kick off the program on June 14 with The Bubble Lady and ice cream.

Lunches are also on the list of offerings. Rancho Cordova Library served 1,022 meals in 2018.

“Our goal is 1,100 this year,” said DeKorte, about the program offered at each branch from June 10 through August 3 for children and teens.

For additional information, visit www.TheFCCP.org. For additional information about Child Abuse Prevention Council, visit http://www.thecapcenter.org/who/agencies/child-abuse-prevention-council-of-sacramento. For additional information about Sacramento Public Library, visit http://www.saclibrary.org.