Flight Fund: Story Time for All

Flight Fund Story of Impact: This blog is part of a series on the impact of the Library Foundation’s Flight Fund, an internal microgrant program exclusively for Library staff to launch innovative new programs, events, and services for the community as well as expand existing programs to reach new audiences.

Neurodivergent Children’s Programming:
North County Regional Library

The Need

The Library’s story times are undeniably one of the most popular events. And making sure that they are as inclusive as possible is imperative. The children’s programming team at North County Regional wanted to design programming for children on the autism spectrum or who have sensory processing challenges, ADHD, or other neurodivergent conditions.

The Team

Before joining the Library, Jennifer Williams-Cannon was a licensed child and family therapist for 20 years with a background in sensory issues. In addition to the program, she would develop staff training to help identify candidates, answer parent questions, and register interested families.

The Ask

With a budget of $2,500, the team would be able to purchase the supplies needed to host Sensory Storytime Adaptive Programming. This included specialized items that help with sensory explorations like weighted toys and with sensory dilution like dimmable lighting. A calming room would be created beside the story time room, a space developed as a supportive therapeutic environment to assist children in self-calming efforts by offering them a designated space to relax and self-regulate.

Take off!

Fifteen programs were facilitated, including 384 attendees, and served populations with Down syndrome, Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delays, Prader Willi Syndrome, and Sensory Integration Disorder/Dysfunction.


I wanted to thank you for your kindness. Everyone was so nice to us the other day. Blake has developed a love for books and for the library.  He loved your neurodiverse program yesterday. I have never seen him connect with another adult like that,” shared a parent after the program.

 The Impact

“When working with children it is important to realize that you need to be prepared to work with the adults in the child’s life,” said Jennifer. “So much of my program was directed primarily toward the children with disabilities, but I soon learned that the parents were getting as much from the program as the children.”

“Many parents said they had learned new behavior management techniques that they had never thought to use. Many parents reported how the neurodiverse program gave them the opportunity to meet other parents and how they created their own support system with one another.”

On a survey of whether attendees would recommend this type of program to friends and family, the team scored a 100% yes!

Branch Enhancement, Community, Home Page, Innovation, Libraries Matter, Library Locations, Partnerships

Related Posts