Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL) celebrated the transformation of the children’s area at Rondo Community Library (461 Dale St. N.) at a volunteer event and ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 25, 2023, through a partnership between PNC, SPPL and Heart of America.
The children’s area at Rondo Community Library, one of SPPL’s 13 library locations, was transformed to provide more opportunities for learning through play for all families and children ages 0-5. The refreshed space features new, interactive play elements, flexible furniture, and murals that center culturally specific elements that reflect and celebrate the neighborhood’s historic African-American community and newer residents from across Africa.
The interactive murals for the area’s columns were created by local artist Emma Eubanks. The murals highlights affirmations created by community organization and library partner, Network for the Development of Children of African Decent (NdCAD). The artist’s joyful designs reflect the cultural diversity and nature in the city that children hear, see, and feel. Each mural also engages children and families in playful ways to encourage curiosity and invite interaction through reading, counting, and singing.
The new children’s area offers interactive play elements to create an engaging way for children and families to learn together. Playing is a critical way young children learn about the world around them, build social and emotional skills, and form relationships with others. SPPL seeks to provide high-quality play-based learning experiences for all young children and families.
This is the third partnership between PNC, SPPL and Heart of America, after transforming similar children’s areas at Rice Street and Arlington Hills libraries over the past few years. The transformations are part of PNC Grow up Great®, a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. Heart of America transforms learning spaces, bridges the resource gap, and strengthens communities to give all students room to dream, discover and thrive. Over the past 25 years, Heart of America has worked towards education equity by renovating almost 1000 spaces in: classrooms, libraries, STEAM labs, college/career centers, school gymnasiums and community centers and more.
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