Head Start Children Now Eligible for No Cost Public Library Cards

The City of Chattanooga’s Office of Early Learning (OEL) and the Chattanooga Public Library (CPL) are thrilled to announce that all children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start are now eligible for a no cost CPL card, regardless of where they reside within Hamilton County. 

“My administration is committed to expanding early learning in our community in any way we can, and this partnership is another step in the right direction,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “Decades of research tell us that the earliest part of a child’s life is the most critical to future development and success, and early learning is key to closing educational and economic gaps. The Chattanooga Public Library has excellent resources to help young children grow and thrive, and it’s only right that all the head start students in our community have access.”

Since 2014, CPL has worked with Hamilton County Schools (HCS) to provide no cost library cards to all K-12 students, regardless of where they live within Hamilton County. In March 2023, the program was extended to all HCS teachers, as well as students enrolled in Pre-K 3 and 4 classes. Throughout the school year, Head Start and HCS classes enjoy field trips to the library, outreach programs at their locations, and more.

Lee Hope, Head of Children’s Services at CPL, said, “we are so excited to offer no cost library cards to all Head Start children in Hamilton County! These cards help us ensure that from the day children are born, parents and guardians have free access to resources that support their little ones’ growth and development and prepare them for school.”

CPL cards can be used to check out up to 100 items at a time, and provide families with access to over 500,000 digital and print books and DVDs, as well as makerspace tools, power and yard tools, and passes to the Chattanooga Zoo, Creative Discovery Museum, Hunter Museum of American ArtChattanooga Symphony & Opera, Chattanooga Audubon Society, Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, and most recently, Chattanooga Football Club games. 

More information about Chattanooga Head Start’s programs and services can be found at chattanooga headstart.com.

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