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Library Services and Technology Act Partnership Grant (LSTA) has announced the awarding of grant funding to the LEER "CHEETAT" READ Project. This project is the result of a collaborative effort of the HAWC Empowerment, Healthy Families Home Visiting Program, Northeast Iowa Library Service Area, Iowa Literacy Resource Center, and Public Libraries in Decorah, Postville, and Garnavillo.

Our communities are experiencing an influx of immigrants from the republics of the former Soviet Union and Mexico/Central America. The LEER "CHEETAT" READ Project evolved in response to the needs of New Iowans with Limited English Proficiency to have access to information to help them assimilate and contribute to our communities and provide for the literacy and language experiences their children need to succeed in school.

This project will provide new Iowans with local library access to important reference materials in areas such as: medical/first-aid, U.S.A. and local law, nutrition/cooking, housing and repairs, finance, parent education and child development, and safety in their native languages.

The project will also provide access to children's literature in native languages through "Early Language Activity Kits." Home Visitors will use these kits to introduce families to literature as the source of enjoyment and learning, provide parents with information, ideas and experience for enhancing their child's language development, promote awareness and support of literacy, and promote use of public libraries.

Finally, the project will assist New Iowans with access to public libraries with an instructional video tour which introduces Limited English Proficiency populations to available library materials and services, the processes of getting a library card and checking out materials, and general library polices. Home Visitors will assist families as they gain the confidence and knowledge needed to take advantage of public library resources.

Becoming a reader is a process that is greatly impacted by family values and experiences beginning in early childhood. The HAWC Empowerment's Healthy Family Home Visiting Program is an ideal vehicle for introducing and fostering parenting skills and in motivating and supporting parents as they strive to nurture their own growth as well as the children's development. Public libraries are an excellent, accessible, local resource of information that New Iowans need to flourish and contribute to our communities.

Together, these agencies have combined efforts and resources to serve diverse needs and build on the opportunities for growth New Iowans bring to our area. The total cost for this project is $26,880.00. The LSTA Partnership Grant Funding is $18,703.00, primarily for the purchase of materials and equipment. Local libraries and HAWC Empowerment are contributing the required $8,177.l00 of matching financing, and over $15,000 in In-Kind support.

Jane Lundquist, HAWC Health Families, is directing the LEER "CHEETAT" READ Project. Questions, comments, and suggestions about this project are welcome. Jane can be reached at her home office at: (563) 539-2328,
E-mail: ja_lundquist@yahoo.com,
or address: 25999 Pleasant Ridge Rd., McGregor, IA 52172

*Note: LEER "CHEETAT" READ translates as LEER ("Read" - Spanish) "CHEETAT" ("Read" - Russian: phonetic spelling) and READ (English).


Allamakee, Clayton, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties
1111 Paine St., Suite H, Hawkeye Plaza, Decorah, IA 52101

HAWC Partnerships for Children
Early Childhood Iowa/Decat
Phone: (563) 382-4447
Fax: (563) 382-1870

E-mail Michael at: hawcmb@neitel.net or
Meagan Hammell at: hawccl@neitel.net