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Playing = Learning For Young Children | New Bilingual Playgroup at the Santa Barbara Public Library

Beginning Thursday, February 14, Santa Barbara Public Library System will be hosting a weekly bilingual playgroup for young children and their caregivers from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at the Eastside Library 1102 E Montecito St., Santa Barbara.  You can also get a taste of the fun when our "Library on the Go" will be set up at "Kids World" Alameda Park on Saturday, February 16 between 2:00 and 3:00 pm.

This free program will offer a comfortable, supportive and relaxing atmosphere where babies, toddlers, and preschool age children have time to play with educational toys and learn together. There is no need to register. Caregivers will be encouraged to drop-in and linger over a cup of coffee while engaging in play and learning activities with their children. It's okay to come late or leave early if needed. Midway through the open play time, the group will gather for bilingual songs and short stories followed by a snack. On occasion, guest community experts will be available to visit with participants and answer individual questions about child development, nutrition, and more. Attendees will also be given their own musical shaker eggs, books, and other learning toys after they visit the playgroup multiple times.

This project is the result of Santa Barbara Public Library’s participation in a pilot program through the California State Library Early Learning with Families initiative and supported by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. Together with seven other libraries that received grants through the project, Library staff explored current research regarding the importance of play and the impact fostering a growth mindset can have on school readiness. Participating libraries are expanding on a successful PlayCafe model developed by Oakland Public Library, designed to extend welcome to "Friends, Family and Neighbors" who care informally for children in our community.

“Santa Barbara Public Library is excited to add the Stay and Play sessions to our calendar of early literacy classes,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente. “Our goal is to meet the community where they’re at, and offer high quality, research-based learning opportunities for young children, and these new classes with a flexible, drop-in format achieve both goals.”  The library serves as a gathering place for young families and caregivers and also provides regular storytimes, music and science programs for children. To stay informed of happenings at the Libraries, individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter in English or Spanish.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs, and services.

All library programs are free and open to the public.  


Contact: Gwen Wagy, Eastside Children’s Librarian

Phone: (805) 963-3727


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