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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

October 23, 2015  RSS feed
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PJ Library national officer suggests tips for better program


PJ Library national program officer, Paul Lewis, met with committee members of new PJ Library Make Time program, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties. Lewis and the committee traded ideas on the type of family programming that is most successful. PJ Library national program officer, Paul Lewis, met with committee members of new PJ Library Make Time program, an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties. Lewis and the committee traded ideas on the type of family programming that is most successful. When it comes to staging PJ Library events, if both parents and children see them as an opportunity to makes friends as well as hear stories, the program is likely to grow.

That was the message of Paul Lewis, national program officer of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that created the PJ Library program.

Lewis visited Pinellas County recently to share marketing tips with committee members of Make Time, a young family initiative of the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Program committee members are Carol Ann Margolis, Zack Levine, Adria Bernstein, Judith Alpert, Tracy Lynn, and Yali Maisel.

The committee has been instrumental in the launch of the Make Time monthly series, featuring family Lego-building, snack, craft, and PJ Library story time.

At the meeting with Lewis, the group sought to find what worked in other communities’ PJ Library programming and share knowledge of what has been the case in Pinellas.

Under the PJ Library program, books with Jewish themes are sent, at no charge, to children monthly. The program also supports other programs, and Lewis pointed out that getting kids and parents together for group events helps build strong Jewish bonds.

“We’ve found a key element of good marketing for young families is to specifically say that they will ‘Make New Friends,’” Lewis noted, emphasizing the desire for parents to not just expand their children’s social network, but to form their own adult bonds, too.

A tool used by the Grinspoon Foundation is that of BatchGeo, which shows the geographic distribution of young families enrolled in PJ Library across the region.

“This tool is really interesting, and helps us make a more educated plan on where to hold events,” said Elana Gootson, the Federation’s director of development and the PJ Library local coordinator.

“Make Time is an important initiative: we’re seeing so many opportunities for kids to independently explore activities, but very little chance for parents and kids to ‘make time’ for meaningful play and craft together,” said Simon Boses, committee member and chief educator for Make Time. “When we get kids and parents working together, we see magic happen and memories made.”

“Young families are the engine of our Jewish community’s future, and we want to do everything we can to bring them together – kids and adults,” said Levine, following Lewis’s presentation.

For more information about the Make Time family program, PJ Library, or other family programming in the region, contact Elana Gootson at egootson@jewishpinellas.org or (727) 333-3102.


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