Tag Archives: Early literacy

Reading BrightStart!

Mother and Daughter Reading Together --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisLast week I highlighted physical activity resources from Nemours. This week I am highlighting Nemours BrightStart! reading program. The mission of BrightStart! “is to promote reading success and prevent reading failure for all children, focusing on birth to age 8.” As librarians, we understand the importance of acquiring reading competency, and this site is a great resource to share with parents to help them develop their child’s skills at home.

The Nemours website has information about the importance of childhood literacy and the BrightStart! program, but BrightStart! also has its own site as well. On it, you will find tools such as Reading Skills by Age and Pre-Reading Milestones from birth to age 5. Pre-Reading Milestones list motor skills, language and cognitive skills, tips for working with your child at home, and developmental warning signs. The section on Pre-Reading Skills covers the development of oral language, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and beginning writing.

There are Articles for Parents, and parents can also use the Preschool Reading Screener to help determine the reading readiness of their 3-5 year old and generate an action plan. There are also Recommended Books, which you can sort by age group as well as the type of book, such as non-fiction or poetry.

There are also At-Home Activities designed for parents working with their children at home, but you could use them as story time activities as well. They can be sorted by age group and the pre-reading skill you would like to emphasize.

How do you encourage parents to work with their children on literacy skills at home? Share your suggestions in the comments!


Love Talk Play

love talk playEach week you spend time imparting early literacy skills to children at story time. But what happens when the children go home? Are they going home to environments that support early learning and development? Do their parents realize the importance of interacting with their children? Do parents feel prepared to work on early learning skills at home?

Love Talk Play is a resource from Washington state that “aims to surround parents of children birth to age 3 with simple messages about three key things all parents can and need to be doing with their children every day: love, talk and play.”

Love Talk Play offers handouts you can share with parents on the importance of interacting with their children. They also provide a list of suggested activities parents can do with their children. You can print the activity sheets to pass out to parents. Parents can also sign up to receive a weekly tip via email.

In North Dakota libraries, many story times focus on the 3-5 year old pre-school age group, rather than the 0-3 year old baby and toddler age group. However, kids never get too old for attention from their parents, and many of the 3-5 year olds at your story time may have younger siblings.

If you have a lot of children attending story time with a day care provider instead of their parents, perhaps the day care would be interested in sending home information with the kids. It would be a great way to remind parents that their child visited the library that day and to encourage them to visit the library with their kids.

What resources do you share with parents at story time? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Early Literacy Skills and Story Time

2840740920_7be2b55a23_z[1]Researchers at the University of Washington Information School have conducted a study called Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully 2 (VIEWS2). It is the first study which demonstrates that “Storytimes can provide many opportunities to help children develop early literacy skills.”

This seems obvious, right? Isn’t that the whole purpose of story time? While it may seem readily apparent that the goal of story time is to increase children’s early literacy skills, it is important to remember that there are key concepts that we can address during story time to increase understanding of these ideas.

The VIEWS2 study resulted in resources demonstrating how to incorporate eight early literacy concepts into your story times. The concepts include:

Each resource page includes a definition of the concept and a brief video (under 3 minutes), along with a concept tool and a tip sheet.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate early literacy skills into story time? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Publicizing Reading to Dogs Programs

Two young girls reading with a trained therapy dog.

Young readers enjoy sharing their books with Daphne the dog at the Bismarck Public Library

I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for early literacy programs where kids get to read to dogs, and I’m elated that libraries in our state offer them. That being said, what I love most about this newsletter article is that it promotes library services through a non-traditional channel. It’s so easy to focus solely on our own organizations’ newsletters, but by doing so we miss the opportunity to reach a wider audience and form community partnerships. If you’re providing a service like this, why not feed a story to your local shelter or humane society?

Do you offer reading to dog sessions at your library or are you interested in starting a program? We’d love to hear about it!