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April Zuniga's Asset-based Community Development MOU Page










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Providing Family Literacy Opportunities for Families of Underserved Populations

A Partnership between High Meadows Branch Library and the Aldine Family Hope Center.  


Partners: April Zuniga, Children's Librarian at High Meadows Branch Library, Bilal Salahuddin Branch Manager at High Meadows Branch Library, Sylvia Bolling Founder and Director of the Aldine Family Hope Center. 



    1. Create family literacy programs for the underserved population in the Aldine area

    2. Serve diverse families of the Aldine community through outreach, free programs, and special events.



    1. Objectives for Goal #1: Both agencies will bring resources together to be able to provide the most substantial and productive programs for the community

    2. Objectives for Goal #2:  Both agencies will use different methods to promote literacy and promote the family literacy programs for families of the Aldine community.


ALSC Competencies – Zuniga_MOU_Competencies.docx


 Evidence-based Practice  

     Peifer, Karen, and Linda Perez. 2011. "Effectiveness of a Coordinated Community Effort to Promote Early Literacy Behaviors." Maternal & Child Health Journal 15, no. 6: 765-771. Retrieved through CINAHL Plus, EBSCOhost. Texas Woman’s University Library (accessed November, 2014). 

Do community literacy intervention programs help families become more involved in reading? Karen Peifer and Linda Perez steered the study titled “Effectiveness of a Coordinated Community Effort to Promote Early Literacy Behaviors” to answer whether or not community intervention such as book distribution and home visits was working. The study shows a positive movement when literacy programs are introduced to families by community organizations. The study showed that once parents were introduced to the constructive impact that literacy has for their children they engage in positive literacy behaviors.    

     Martinez, Gilda. 2008. "Public libraries--Community organizations making outreach efforts to help young children succeed in school." The School Community Journal 18, no. 1: 93-104. Retrieved through PsycINFO, EBSCOhost. Texas Woman’s University Library (accessed November 2014)


The study shows how much children benefit greatly when they participate in a reading program. The report also states that even a few hours during the summer of reading activities will help the child significantly (Luftig 2003, 10). Studies like this prove that children excel when they are engaged in a reading program of some sort. It shows how much literacy is an important factor in how much they learn and become ready for school.


Measures for Success


    1. Data for Objectives for Goal #1: Data will be collected by recording attendance of participants that come to specific programs and events. By knowing how well programs are in attendance, we can better understand what is needed and what is not.

    2. Data for Objectives for Goal #2: We will make surveys for attendees so they can share where they heard about our programs and services. This will allow us to see if our media outlets that promote our programs are a proper form of promotion or not. This can help us analyze other ways our agencies can reach the public and our specific target audience.

    1. Benefits for the non-profit agency: I believe the non-profit agency will reap benefits by expanding their network. By working with the library they will be able to gain other partnerships in the future. Also, by helping the community, they will gain more supporters and possibly gain grants or donations from other agencies that agree with our mission and partnership.

    2. Benefits for the library: The library would benefit from this partnership because it would help expose the library and make the community more aware of resources and services. The partnership would also allow for an increase in the community attending and using the library.

    3. Benefits for the community: The community is the main winner here and deserves all the benefits of this partnership. Not only will they have the benefit of using program services close to home, but they will be able to use these services free of charge. They would also benefit because there would be a lot more options of family literacy programs that they can choose from. The main benefit for the community would be to instill a love of learning and literacy within their families.

Responsibilities of the Partners


    1. Non-profit Agency Responsibilities: The non-profit agency would be responsible for organizing a committee of events that analyzes the needs of the community and relays the information to everyone in the partnership through meetings and workshops.

    2. Library Responsibilities: The library would be in charge of recruiting volunteers and making sure to promote programs, services, and events provided by the partnership.

    3. Shared Responsibilities:  Budget, monthly meetings, funds, outreach,advocacy,reports, and program coordination.     


    1. Budget Detail:  The budget for this partnership will come together equally from both agencies. Both agencies will do their best to acquire funds from different sources. Every month we will allocate at least $500 dollars to programs and events that will take place within that month. Whatever is not used will roll over to the following month’s budget.

    2. Source(s) of Funding:  Sources of funding will come from donations, book sales, book bag sales, snack sales, and from grants that support our mission.    



    1. Project Timeline: The project timeline will begin January 1, 2015 and meet in April 15, 2015 specifically to discuss how well the project has gone so far. Project meetings will be held every other month to discuss event plans and services. The project will then be reevaluated in December 2015 and then will be discussed of whether to renew the partnership for another year.

    2. Evaluation Points: Evaluation points will be given throughout the year based on analysis of programs and events, budget, and collaboration. At the end of the term, these points will be reviewed and given as a report on how well the project is doing.


 Ending the Partnership

    1. Deal breaker(s): The deal breaker for this partnership would be a breach of agreement. If any of the partners in this collaboration should violate part of the Memorandum of Understanding that underlies the mission and creates tensions, the partnership would then end.

    2. Bless and release (exit strategy): The exit strategy would be to sit and discuss the breach of the Memorandum. This would lead to both agencies signing off on a contract that leads to the termination of the partnership on certain terms. This contract would be discussed beforehand and before the existence of the partnership so that both agencies understand the terms and conditions of the collaboration. Both agencies will end on friendly terms and go their own ways.


Capstone Stage 3 Reflection

Stage three of the Capstone Experience was really great, because it made me actively think of the reality of this partnership. Not only was I able to understand key concepts of a partnership, but I was able to organize thoughts and processes in a way that would benefit both agencies in the collaboration. I feel that it is easy to say that two agencies can work together, but there is so much more to it than that. There are several different measures to take in order to successfully plan and execute a collaboration between two agencies, regardless if they share the same mission statement and goals. There needs to be a knowledge of the client group, programming skills, advocacy and networking skill, communication skills, and management and Administration skills as well.

I feel this assignment effectively connected classroom theories to real-world experiences through allowing us to plan a very specific Memorandum of Understanding between our two agencies. Also, by including the ALSC Competencies, I was able to see how these theories work in the real environment. Thinking of budgets, timelines, responsibilities, and goals for both agencies helped me understand the hard work that needs to be put in when working in any partnership, especially one that shares your same agenda.

The second student learning objective is extremely evident in part 3 of the capstone project because it really encourages us to use our critical thinking and problem solving skills through this Memorandum of Understanding. Examples of this include, coming up with budgets and funding sources. Also, executing a plan of action for an exit strategy if the partnership doesn’t go well. All of these critical thinking skills and knowledge are important in order to create a professional collaboration that benefits both agencies, but that most importantly benefits the community. Thinking of the objectives and goals were also an important part of the student learning outcomes. In order to reach the goals and objectives, we had to understand how we were going to get there.

By working on this template, I have learned that working with another agency is hard work. It forces you to expand your mind and think outside of the box. Most importantly, it allows for new and innovative ideas that will benefit communities in desperate need of them. There are many responsibilities that accompany these types of projects, but it is important to note that even though it is difficult, the end result is always worth it. 



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