Blogger Kiera Parrott

Stories on the Spectrum: Adventures in Outreach, Planning, and Programming for Kids with ASD

Last year, I blogged about doing special class visits with a group of students on the autistic spectrum.  At that time, I was working in New York City and got to meet the kids through my relationship with their teacher- a regular library user.  Since moving to a new library, I had been itching to do more programming for kids on the spectrum.  It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain- I simply love working with children who have autism.  Whether they are low- or high-functioning, I am continually surprised, inspired, and delighted by their unique way of viewing the world.  I couldn’t wait to figure out how I was going to continue to work with this population at a new library, in a new and different community.  But unlike my situation in the city, the suburbs initially proved a more challenging place to do outreach.  No public transportation.  Not as…

Child Advocacy

Follow the CAR

The Allen County (IN) Public Library (ACPL) has created this flier, “Follow the CAR,” to encourage adults to follow the child’s lead when talking and reading to infants and toddlers. CAR means to: Comment and wait* Ask questions and wait* Respond by adding a little more *Waiting gives the child time to respond. Librarians model and share ideas with caregivers during storytimes, but not all caregivers can schedule their library visits to coincide with library storytimes. This is one more way to spread the word of the importance of reading to and engaging with infants and toddlers. For a larger view of the flier, click on the thumbnail car images. The flier includes the URL for the ACPL Everybody Reads resource page, Another resource to share with caregivers is the ALSC Born to Read Initiative. To visit that resource page, go to ALSC –> Initiatives –> Born To Read.

Programming Ideas

Letter Parade

How about leading a letter parade at your next preschool or family storytime? You could give everyone the same letter. You could mix it up and give everyone a different letter. Maybe a vowel parade? Or only certain consonants? Or blends? During the parade, you could make the sounds of the letters or call out the letter names or say words that start with that letter or end with that letter. Children could take turns leading the parade. They could carry hand-lettered signs that they make with their caregivers or a letter that they can trace with their fingers. Or skip the fine-motor skills and move right into large motor skills by parading in letter shapes that you put on your floor, perhaps with masking tape or carpet squares. Take the parade outside the program room, maybe even outside your department or even your building (if you have enough caregivers…

Our Organizational Support

ALSC Journal, Children and Libraries, Seeks Manuscripts

Hello everyone! Just wanted to put the word out that ALSC’s refereed publication Children and Libraries is seeking your manuscripts for possible publication in our journal (published three times a year). While we are always seeking best practices, profiles and shorter essay pieces, we are especially in need of scholarly/research manuscripts to round out our coverage. These manuscripts are also put through a blind referee process, ensuring they are appropriate for our readership. Previous topics published have ranged from storytime procedures to Every Child Ready to Read to literature reviews or examinations of award-winning books. All topics of potential interest to children’s librarians are welcome. Please feel free to contact me for more information if you’re interested in submitting to Children and Libraries. I’m looking at copy now for our winter 2009 and entire 2010 year of publication. Thanks for your consideration. Sharon Korbeck Verbeten Editor, Children and Libraries 820…


Grant Writing Tips

by Kimberly McCloud, M.Ed. Research the company you are applying to. I read my husband’s subscriptions of Money, Kiplinger’s, Smart Money, etc. to look for companies that have a strong financial portfolio and have a philosophy about their grant foundations that meet the needs of the grant I am applying for. I then read up on as much information as I can about the company. Be focused on what you truly want. Give the grant your total commitment when writing it. Your passion for your proposal and your students will come through. Follow all directions on the grant form. Some corporations will ask you to send an inquiry letter before applying. Also, they may request a certain font size or limit your application to one or two pages. Whatever they ask for, be sure to do it! They will immediately disqualify you if you can’t follow their directions when applying….

Child Advocacy

Mine. Next.

During a “Watch Me Grow!” mini session developed by the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource & Referral (IACCRR), Amy Healton (Infant Toddler Specialist with Child Care Solutions) offered those words to teach toddlers sharing and turn-taking. “Mine” is learned fairly quickly. How helpful to teach them to add the word “next” to communicate turn-taking to another child who is interested in playing with the same toy.

ALSC Online Courses

What the Heck is Level Q?

Over four weeks in February and March, I was a member of the ALSC Online Education course, “Reading Instruction and Children’s Books,” taught by Katherine Todd, a 25-year veteran of the New York Public Library and current Emerging Technologies librarian at Manhattanville College.  The goal of the class was to share the vocabulary of reading instruction used by schools and parents with librarians, who may be unfamiliar with certain important “buzzwords.” The first week of the class was dedicated to learning about four different methods used to teach children how to read.  We enjoyed comparing and contrasting these methods with our own experiences as fledgling readers.  Many of us had used standardized phonics systems in elementary school.  We also did research to find studies and literature discussing the effectiveness of each of the teaching methods.  We finished the unit with a synchronous chat on Moodle, with groups presenting their findings…