Outreach Beyond the Bricks


Engineering with the RigaMaJigPurpose

The purpose of the Beyond the Bricks is to improve literacy and creative STEAM skills among children ages 3 to 12, through forming new partnerships with organizations within the Elgin Public Library service area. The Beyond the Bricks Program will bring STEAM library programs directly into schools, preschools, and Head Start Centers. The Beyond the Bricks Program will provide STEAM, exploration, play, and arts activities coupled with literacy.  

Goals of The Beyond the Bricks Program

The Beyond the Bricks program has three goals:

  1. To build partnerships with 5 different existing Elgin organizations,
  2. To create 5 unique programs that encourage exploration and inquiry within STEAM,
  3. To develop a library collection of at least 10 current, fun, and diverse picture books and juvenile nonfiction in English and Spanish that emphasize creativity, innovation, and STEAM topics.

Across these goals, Beyond the Bricks programming focuses on facilitating children’s designs and ideas rather than on producing end products. Programming and activities, paired with books containing STEAM concepts they explore, focuses on increasing child confidence when approaching potentially intimidating STEAM topics. Programming also helps establish relationships between students and existing library resources. 

Building Community Relations

The Beyond the Programs program has helped the library build stronger relationships organizations in the Elgin community. As of June 30th, the Elgin Public Library has offered outreach at the following locations: Booker T. Washington Elementary School, Neidig Elementary School, Elgin Elementary School, Elgin Intermediate School, Elgin Food Pantry, and Elgin Parks and Recreation Center. 

If your organization serves youth ages 3 to 12, especially low-income children, and would like for the library to offer an outreach program at its location in Elgin city limits, please feel free to reach out to us.