Westmoreland Children First

Courthouse Resources


Open Books, Binding Families is a literacy project targeting children and families under the care of the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau. The goal of the project is to introduce young children to books and provide parents with ideas on how to foster literacy in their family. There are also books for teenagers and young adults.

Encouraging parents to embrace literacy within their families can prove challenging. Locating a library in the playroom of the Children's Bureau gives children and parents a convenient opportunity to experience and explore how much books can offer them.

Visitors to the library can take a free book bag and fill it with books to take home.

Westmoreland Children First initiated and oversees the library. We are constantly looking for book donations to perpetuate this literacy project. Our measure of success is how many books that children and parents take home to read.


At-risk children are at their most vulnerable during times of uncertainty and instability in their lives.

With a grant of $4,000 from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, Westmoreland Children First spearheaded a project to transform a sterile waiting room in the Westmoreland County Family Court area into a stress-relieving playroom for children and youth awaiting court appearances.

Such court appearances and legal decisions are related to, but not limited to, child custody, protection from abuse, delinquency, and probation.

Transforming the waiting room involved art students from Westmoreland County Community College, who designed and installed imaginative, interactive wall murals in the waiting room and in Master Monique Mears' hearing room.

In addition to wall murals, the Comfort Room contains:

  • A play area with a colorful rug
  • Child-size tables and chairs
  • Shelves loaded with children's books, toys, and stuffed animals
  • Games for children to play with and take home