The Cedar Rapids Public Library has always focused on children’s literacy and preparing children for school. Now they are pushing that mission even further by implementing tools from the Every Child Ready to Read program developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and the Association for Library Service to Young Children (ALSC).
Every Child Ready to Read developed in 2000 from an early literacy program designed to engage parents and caregivers and to arm them with the tools necessary to prepare their children for reading. This second edition looks at the research of what was successful in the first version and adds to it.
There are five principles to Every Child Ready to Read*:
- Reading is an essential life skill.
- Learning to read begins at birth.
- Parents and caregivers are a child’s first and best teachers.
- Lifelong learning is a primary role of the public library; public libraries need to support parents and caregivers as they develop early literacy skills in children from birth to age five.
- Every Child Ready to Read is a parent education initiative that provides skills and strategies parents and caregivers can use to help children get ready to read.
These principles carry over from the first edition to the second edition.
Cedar Rapids Public Library staff have been educated on the tools and techniques of Every Child Ready to Read and have begun implementing these techniques into their programming. One example of this is a special literacy bookmark given out at each story time held during the week. Every child gets a bookmark each time they attend a story time with a special prize awarded for four story time attendances.
These bookmarks are tools to educate parents or caregivers on six literacy skills each child needs to be ready to read:
- print motivation
- print awareness
- letter knowledge
- phonological awareness
- narrative skills
These bookmarks are a fun way to remind parents and caregivers of these skills and offer ways to engage their children with each.
This is just one example of a way in which the Cedar Rapids Public Library is using this resource to get every child ready for a life of reading and learning. Visit our event calendar at www.crlibrary.org for a list of all events and programs.
*Visit http://www.everychildreadytoread.org/ for more information on this initiative.