Monday, December 22, 2008

R2R websites and wikis

Here are two great R2R websites to explore!

Ohio Ready to Read now has a wiki. See what people are doing with Ready to Read around Ohio and contribute your ideas!

Also -
Hennepin County Public Library in Minnisota has an awesome searchable database based on the 6 pre-literacy skills. If you don't know about this site, check it out!

ELSIE (Early Literacy Storytime Idea Exchange)is up-to-date with the newest titles and can be searched by keyword and by skill. It is the perfect tool to use for searching for a book for your themed storytime that deals with a certain skill.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

R2R Presentation en espanol

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that we had a great presentation at the Ohio Hispanic Coalition with their after school program. They have a program similar to the HHC on weeknights and Katie, Tim, and I went to make a R2R presentation to the parents during their Christmas posada last night. The lady who runs the program is super-excited and wants to arrange a meeting between her and her boss and Katie/Gabriela and our bosses to bring more literacy training to the program's parents. They are interested in ESOL classes, computer classes, ESOL classes for their kids(what a concept!), more bilingual storytimes, book clubs/reading help for school agers, etc. I think they really felt like the library was a resource for English speakers only, but I think we started to break that barrier and let them know that we want to be there for them in whatever way we can. Cross your fingers that we can find some time/money in 2009 to develop this relationship.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Multilingual Kindergarten Readiness Information

This site from the Hamilton library in Ontario, Canada has bilingual information in English and 12 other languages all geared at Kindergarten Readiness! There workbooks based on what kids will do in Kindergarten in the areas of arts, language, mathematics, personal and social development, and science and technology. Each workbook has fun activities parents or caregives can do with kids to help get them ready for school.

FYI, Spanish and Somali are two of the twelve included languages.

Multilingual Early Literacy Resource

This site contains a variety of information supporting early literacy and the importance of interacting with children in your native language. Information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Korean.

Friday, December 12, 2008

First Workshop

I assisted Jess with her workshop on Tuesday. I think that it went very well. CR&D was there to photograph and film us and since this was out very first workshop for the both of us it made me a little more nervous. They stayed in the back though and I forgot they were even there.

We gave away 15 of the 20 bags. In the front of the class was a mother with a seven month old and he just loved playing with the board books. I stumbled over my words a little even accidentally calling kids "pigs" luckily no one including Jess heard that one. Think I will go to note cards as Jess did rather than a had out. With the books many of the attendees were nodding their heads or commented on how much they loved them. Several attendees commented on how they liked being read to. Many of them recognized the books we had. When I pointed out the mouse and balloon in Good Night Gorilla some on the moms commented on how many times they had read that book and never noticed that. Afterwards we did 2 library cards, and several people came up to talk to us. One mom came up and talked about how much she enjoyed out presentation, and how much she and her kids loved the library! I instantly had cold chills and wanted to hug the mother, I also had a lightning bolt.

I have always known that I planned to stay with the library, but I realized this is why I am here and how I will make my mark and difference in the world, by talking to people about the importance of reading to their kids, and working with the kids. Weird to admit I know but I had an overwhelming urge to cry :). Tonya and Scott from CRD came up to talk and said that she didn't realize that this was out first presentation ever! She asked us to talk to them (the camera) about our experience and share some of out thoughts.

I really think that those kits will be of use to our attendees although many of them already use the library system. The most asked question for me was where could they get the over sized books like the "Good night Gorilla" one we used.

Friday, November 21, 2008


A new study in England is showing that front-facing strollers may be discouraging parents from talking with their babies.

The research into the psychological effects of buggies reveals that life in a 21st-century baby buggy can be emotionally isolating. Children in front-facing varieties are significantly less likely to talk, laugh and interact with their parents than those in buggies that face the pusher, according to the research. The study is published by the National Literacy Trust for its Talk to Your Baby campaign and funded by the educational charity the Sutton Trust.
. . . .

Zeedyk emphasised that the study was small and required further investigation, but said: "If babies are spending significant amounts of time in a baby buggy that undermines their ability to communicate with their parent, at an age when the brain is developing more than it will ever again, then this has to impact negatively on their development. Our experimental study showed that, simply by turning the buggy around, parents' rate of talking to their baby doubled."

This is very interesting, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fabulous Ready to Read Workshop!!

Just wanted to let you both know that the workshop Karyn and I presented last night was a smashing success! We were only expecting 10-15 parents but 27 showed up! Each had their kids with them too so in all we had over 60 participants. Before the workshop we set out the books and all the little ones stormed the stage to read them. We also got to read to a bunch of kids. Then, during the workshop, the children were very interactive and helped reinforce the R2R skills. They also participated with Good Night Gorilla. Afterward I stayed to help pass out pizza and talked with most of the parents about R2R, what programs are offered at the different branches, talked up the homework help centers, and passed out some library cards.

I know this was Karyn's first go at doing this sort of presentation, and she did a remarkable job. Kudos to her too!

This was a really wonderful experience. I've done several workshops in the past but this was bar none the greatest.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Happy Accident Literacy Game!

A cool thing happened on Saturday and I wanted to share!

I accidentally left the felt letters in a pile on a table (the ones that spell STORYTIME on the felt board in the kids area). I noticed a rough looking guy with tatoos sitting there with a young boy (maybe 7 or 8). When I looked closer I noticed they were using the letters to see how many words they could spell! "Here, I can spell STORE" said the tatooed guy and then the boy said, "I can spell TOE!". How awesome is that!?! And all because I forgot to clean up my mess!
I promptly put out the whole box of letters.

This week it has been great to watch the many different interactions with the felt letters.
Here are some of the great literacy experiences I have seen this week with the felt letters!

Toddlers work on putting each letter on the board, looking closely at each one before they put it up (Letter Knowledge!).

Parents have lined them up for their little ones and they say the letter when the babies point to each one.

Each day I have noticed the alphabet being put in order and words and names being spelled in both English and Spanish! Here is a picture of what I saw this morning when I came into work...

Literacy experiences really can happen anywhere, anytime! Even by accident!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ready to Read at Upper Arlington

Tony and Beth presented a Ready to Read Workshop with a focus on Storytime to Youth Services staff members of the Upper Arlington and Grandview Heights Public Libraries. After the one hour presentation of the traditional PowerPoint that introduces the importance of Ready to Read, brain research, and the 6 skills, those in attendance had the opportunity to share. Each was asked to bring a favorite storytime picture book and share how they could share one of the skills. The books they brought:

I ain't gonna paint no more by Karen Beaumont
Ducks don't wear socks by John Nedwidek
Let's play in the forest by Claudia Rueda
Wolf's coming by Joe Kulka
Caps for sale by Esphyr Slobdkina
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
The napping house by Audrey Wood
You're a hero Daley B! by Jon Blake
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault
Green Wilma by Tedd Arnold
In the Rain with Baby Duck by Amy Hest
Big Red Tub by Julia Jarmon
We've all got belly buttons by David Martin
Lizette's green sock by Catharina Valckx
The little old lady who was not afraid of anything by Linda Williams

Many fun titles to share with the Ready to Read Skills with children!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Final Training Complete!

We had our final training for Ambassadors yesterday, and it was great!

We switched up the format a bit so that attendees could work with the books more and do a little role-playing.

If you went to the first session, you might want to arrange with your mentor to do some role-playing before going out the first time.

Still no news on the booklets being done, but we'll keep you posted. It won't be long now!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great books for parents

Got any suggestions for great books on Early Literacy for parents? I just found How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell, 2003. It's a great collection of activities, book suggestions, aged-lists, etc. I already have a decent list of adult resources, but I'm looking for the shiniest, best titles. Someday soon we're going to be launching our Ready for Kindergarten website, and we've talked about highlighting related materials as the book of the day on the main webpage.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ready to Read at CML

I'm so excited about our new project! This year's United Way grant project is really thrilling. We're going to be visiting 60 sites in our county that have never been visited before with Ready to Read information. Isn't that great! But wait! There's more! We've got a group of about 40 Ambassadors from all parts of CML staff (not just Youth Services!) who are going to be making these visits. Wahoo!

This new blog is intended to be where all of us involved in R2R at the library share our stories, our ideas, our inspirations and our concerns. If you find a great article on brain development or early literacy skills, you can share the link here. If you have a great experience at one of your site visits, you can share that here (with pictures!).

Come along and join the fun! If you are one of the R2R ambassadors or another CML staff person who is involved in any aspect of the R2R projects, please email me: cwilliams at the CML address. You'll need to create a google account or blogger account, and I can add you to this blog as a contributor.