Oxon Hill Achievers - A Kids Achieve Program
Prince George's County Memorial Library System
PGCMLS' Oxon Hill Branch Library developed a new program called Oxon Hill Achievers, a PGCMLS Kids Achieve Program. With feedback from the community and years of experience, staff established a completely online series of one-on-one homework help sessions and educational (and fun) events and activities to aid children in their schooling.
PGCMLS offers a countywide after school tutoring program for first to third graders who need extra reading support called Kids Achieve Club. Historically, there was low engagement in the Oxon Hill area (among others), which is one of the communities with the highest need in the county (9% poverty, with 66% of county children eligible for free/reduced lunch). The achievement gap was exacerbated when the pandemic first struck and the library sought private funding to expand educational services for children in this key area.
Key Elements of Innovation
Following low participation by Oxon Hill children in a fall 2021 virtual countywide Kids Achieve program (12 students), branch staff surveyed their customers as to what supports were most needed locally. Their new program provided 1-on-1 tutoring with staff and volunteers, activity kits, book giveaways, literacy programs and assistance with using the PGCMLS print and online collections. This was accomplished with a $37,995 grant from the County Local Development Council. Staff expertly assessed and met customer needs.
The branch-specific program offered in spring/summer 2021 was tremendously successful, serving a total of 797 students (up from 12 in fall 2020) — a 1494% increase. An additional 639 children and parents participated in programs offered through the program at National Harbor. In addition to this powerful expansion of the branch's reach and impact, the effort served to engage new local residents with their branch and expose them to the range of library services for all ages. Staff innovation changed students' lives.