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A Zoom event on December 17, 2020 marked the successful completion of our “Create The Best Home Library” contest. The contest was facilitated by Family Focus-Englewood Prevention Initiatives program and The Freadom®️ Road Foundation as part of our long standing collaborative partnership to promote literacy and school readiness for families with young children ages birth to three.

Participating families drew on their vast creativity and deep caring for their children to create a special place. This place would not only hold books, writing (scribbling, at first) materials, art supplies and other literacy building resources, but serve as a place whose ease of access and attractiveness would “invite” families to spend pleasurable time there and bond with each other while learning.

Winners included: Sheonta Walters, First Place; Shakeeta Davenport, Second Place; Mary Cobb and Brandy Frazier tied for Third Place; and Dominique Hilton, Chanale Jackson and Yasmine Davis, Honorable Mentions.

Judges, selected for their expertise and experience in libraries and librarianship included: Maria Hayley, Founder, and Susan Cole, Associate of The Freadom®️ Road Foundation; Cymonique Jackson, Children’s Librarian, West Englewood Branch, Chicago Public Library; and Sujin B. E. Huggins, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Graduate School of Information Studies, Dominican University, River Forest, IL.

The judges were unanimous in their high opinions of the entries and agreed that, regardless of contest placement, and because of their gift of providing a strong educational foundation for their families, all participants were truly winners!

The “Create The Best Home Library” contest was made possible by the generous financial support and sponsorship of the Honorable William J. P. Banks, former Alderman of Chicago’s 36th Ward, and the Kiwanis Club of Lakeview, Chicago.

Sheonta Walters, First Place Winner of the “Create The Best Home Library“ contest is pictured holding her baby and showing her Certificate with the “Merry Christmas” prize gift card and the American Library Association bookmark saying “ A library card is the smartest card in your wallet.”