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Families affected by incarceration are invited to Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Brooklyn Center, Thursday, May 8, for a fun and enriching family program featuring appearances by Elmo and Sesame Street-inspired early literacy activities. Families can talk, sing, read, write, and play together as they read in Big Bird’s nest, shop in Hooper’s Store and more.
Community organizations will also be present to offer information and resources for families impacted by this issue.
This program, created by Hennepin County librarians in partnership with Sesame Street and the Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration Collaborative, is part of an effort to draw attention to the ways children and families are affected by incarceration and highlight available resources and support.
Over 2.7 million children have a parent behind bars in the U.S. In Minnesota, it is estimated that more than 15,000 children have at least one parent currently incarcerated.
The incarceration of a family member can compromise healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development, with long-term implications for children’s educational success and well-being.
Library Director Lois Langer Thompson will kick off a 4 p.m. press briefing on this issue in advance of the 5:30-8:30 p.m. family open house.
“Hennepin County Library – Brookdale is one of 41 Hennepin County libraries that serve children, families and caregivers,” Thompson said. “Our libraries offer safe spaces, valuable resources and caring staff to help children succeed in school and support parents as they re-enter our community.”
Other press briefing speakers will include: Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy, Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Mary Ellison, Assistant Commissioner of Human Services Erin Sullivan Sutton, and community members whose families have been affected by incarceration.