Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for...

I am one of the many SUPERHUGE fans of the "PacificNorthwestway". I might have just made up that catchphrase, so let me back up and explain. You regular readers know that I am wild about early literacy; it is one of my "things."  When I think about early literacy and all that I want to do to help ensure that the millions of kids in this nation become readers, I get excited and start talking really fast (well I already talk fast, and this is faster than normal, so crazyfast). I am just passionate about early literacy and what this profession can do to communicate its importantance to people everywhere. That being said, 8 out of 10 times I see something awesome happening with early literacy in libraryland it is happening at one of the libraries in the Pacific Northwest. Multnomah County Library & King County Library are top dogs, but there are many other great libraries and systems up there getting things done.

One of my weekly challenges is how to communicate the importance of early literacy to the 75 teen moms I work with. Three things I have found success with are--
1. Visuals:  The teens respond best when I not only say what the early literacy skill we are working on today is, but also show them the info in written form. Multnomah County has great Birth to Six products, and I ordered their posters and handouts. I also laminated the early literacy diagram from Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library®: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz and we go over it at the beginning of each storytime
2. Music: Music and Movement is a must for all my storytimes, and can easily be incorporated to support the skill I am working on that week
3. Board Books for everyone:I think this is the standard way to do baby lapsit, but I have found that even with the toddlers and their mothers, reading and holding a book that is sturdy and small enough for the child gets everyone excited about story sharing