The American Indian Library Association and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Announce Winners of the 2018 Talk Story Grant

April 16, 2018

The American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), supported by Toyota Financial Services, are pleased to award a $750 grant to each of the following eight libraries and community organizations to host Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture programming. The winning libraries and community organizations are:

American Indian Health & Family Services, Michigan — Grant funds will be used to support early childhood programming for two age groups, 0-5 and 5-8. The 0-5 age group events will include storytime, crafts and singing. Books written by American Indian authors will be given to the families who attend. The Little Dreamers event, age 5-8, will focus on tradition and history. Books used will address the experiences of residential schools as well as current concerns in the Native community.

Aniak Public Library, Alaska — Building on a successful project last summer, Aniak Public Library will write and publish a series of Aniak Alaska books. These books will reflect the community and the Alaska Native culture. Workshops throughout the summer and fall will culminate in a community event to celebrate the completed books.

Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance, Washington D.C. — Partnering with the DC Public Library and 1882 Foundation, underserved APA youth in the DC area will be participating in a three-month weekly art program geared towards APA identity development. Ten to fifteen middle school-aged youth will be provided multimedia art instructions in various techniques and cultures. 

Cranston Public Library, Rhode Island — Partnering with the Center for Southeast Asians, the Cranston Public Library is hosting a series of programs to help children discover the richness of Cambodian culture. Programs will include providing youth with modern technology to bridge the generational gap by conducting interviews with families; recreating jewelry, sculptures, and tools using the library’s 3D printers; and examining the library’s collection of books in Khmer to write letters with the help of a former monk.

Hopi Public Library, Arizona — Coinciding with the Summer Reading Program, the Hopi Story Time project proposes an intergenerational story and activity hour that promotes Hopi language learning. There will be 10 story time events through the Hopitutuqayki Sikisve (The Hopi Bookmobile). Each event will involve a speaker reading from Hopi coyote tales and activities that accompany the story hour will include: taking booklets of coyote stories home; author talks with Anita Poleahla, the writer/author behind Mesa Media; and creating a timeline with events from Hopi history.

Newark Free Library, Delaware — A local poet laureate, educator and arts administrator will lead 10-15 pre-teens and young adults in a parol activity during Filipino American Heritage Month. Oral stories, poems, and personal experiences will be shared.

San Juan College, New Mexico — Partnering with the San Juan College Childhood Family Development Center (CFDC), San Juan College will collaborate with Our Last Chants, a local Navajo indie band, to provide cultural and interactive experiences. The band will visit the children, learning a Navajo song or nursery rhyme. They will also create a CD of Navajo/English nursery rhymes for the CFDC children and families.

South Plainfield Public Library, New Jersey — South Plainfield Public Library will be expanding their current Diwali program by adding several new components garnered from community input and analysis. Programs include dance lessons, henna designs, sampling of Indian food, and rangoli creations. Funds will also go toward purchasing culturally appropriate books for the collection.

Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture is a literacy program that reaches out to Asian Pacific American (APA) and American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) children and their families. The program celebrates and explores their stories through books, oral traditions, and art to provide an interactive, enriching experience. Grants provide financial support to libraries and community organizations who want to introduce a Talk Story program into their library.

Talk Story: Sharing stories, sharing culture is a joint project between the American Indian Library Association (www.aila.org) and the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (www.apalaweb.org). It started as part of ALA 2009-2010 President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus Initiative. 2018 is the ninth year that AILA and APALA have partnered on the Talk Story project and allocated grant funding to libraries to implement programs geared towards the APA/AIAN communities. This is the fifth year that Toyota Financial Services has helped to sponsor grants.  

Committee Chairs are Liana Juliano (AILA), Katrina Nye (APALA) and Xuemin Zhong (APALA). For more information, please visit the Talk Story web site: www.talkstorytogether.org.