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!