When the Brooklyn Public Library library had to stop programming in March 2020, staff shifted the popular Brainy Babies program for children birth to 3 years to a virtual platform. At this session, participants will learn about this transition, and how the Brainy Babies team developed mission-driven programming to engage young children in low-resourced communities by offering support to parents and caregivers, which BPL has begun scaling throughout the system. In the context of a virtual storytime on Zoom, the team developed engaging strategies to reach very young children and grown-ups alike that mirrored the in-person version of the program, such as implementing a “show and tell” session, partnering with a music therapist, and developing a community newsletter. The team will also share how they worked hard to make the program radically inclusive by including an ASL interpreter, who not only assists Deaf participants but has become an integral part of Brainy Babies by teaching all participants ASL. The team will also share how they developed a Spanish version of the program in response to community needs and interest. The team also worked with the University of Oregon’s EC PRISM technical assistance team to develop a flexible theory of impact to ensure we were meeting our previously agreed on strategies, targets, and outcomes and maintaining fidelity. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to apply the EC PRISM TOI Framework to their own work, as well as explore tools for evaluation.
Describe the elements of an effective virtual program for young children 0-3 and their parents and caregivers.
Implement simple changes to virtual programs to make them more inclusive, equitable, and developmentally appropriate for young children and supportive of parents.
Apply theory of impact to their own programs and develop a basic fidelity tool to evaluate it.