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Friday, December 14, 2012

Early Literacy Outreach

I know that early literacy outreach is important to many of you.  I'm working on finding some concrete ways to support these efforts (I am still spinning my wheels a little bit, but look for information soon).  Our state consultant, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, is also thinking a lot about early literacy.  She's working hard on building partnerships at the state level and creating resources for us all--keep your eye peeled for this. 

The Colorado State Library is doing an admirable job of getting early literacy information out there to families that need it most with their Supporting Parents in Early Literacy Through Libraries (SPELL) Project.  I attended a webinar yesterday, archived here, that had some great information and ideas.  Here are some highlights, but I highly recommend taking some time to check it out for yourself!
  • Working with WIC Clinics--some of which hold mandatory classes for mothers to get food coupons.  The library is in the line-up of approved classes.  Their presentation (30 minutes long) emphasizes family strengths, and the goals of developing language and vocabulary and background knowledge with young children.  They give out a booklet with nursery rhymes, a magnet, library and storytime promotion, and a paperback or board book.  Adult services librarians and youth services librarians alike are presenting these classes!
  • In Columbus, OH, they put together early literacy bins (supported by grant funds) to distribute in targeted neighborhoods where it is needed most.  They have partnered with a variety of agencies to go along on home visits to share the bins and share a little information about early literacy and child development.  They've had terrific results.

I hope you take some time to check out the website for the SPELL Project, it has some excellent ideas and resources!

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