Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Universal Design Environments for Early Learners

Introduction About four years ago I attended the Birth to Three Institute. A former program of Head Start. I went to a very informative workshop, “Adapting and Embracing the Environment: Fostering Participation for Children with Disabilities”. Th“e session was led by Linda Brault, Project Director, WestEd and Senta Greene, Executive Director of Full Circle Consulting Systems, Inc. Session Information The most important information I left with from this session is that you don’t need a lot of money or anything fancy to create a universal design play space for toddlers. If you treat each child as an individual, you can create multiple possibilities for engagement. And “multiple” is the key word to keep in mind. Are there multiple ways for the child: 1) to enter and interact in the environment, 2) access materials and toys, and 3) play, among of things to consider? During this interactive session, each group received…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Books from Birth!

  Wouldn’t you love for your young child to receive a free book in the mail once a month! Prince George’s County, MD, a diverse suburb of Washington, DC, has approximately 60,000 children under the age of five. The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, (PGCMLS) is dedicated to ensuring that each of these children enters kindergarten ready to read. County Executive, Rushern L. Baker III selected PGCMLS to sponsor the  Ready 2 Read Books from Birth Program to improve our county’s educational outcomes. Mr. Baker, with full support from the County Council, increased the Library budget to make Books from Birth possible. We are excited and honored to offer a program in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It is designed to encourage literacy and kindergarten readiness by getting books into the hands of every young child in the county.  By simply registering their young child on our website,…

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

1000 Books and Smiles!

This weekend we held our very first 1000 Books before Kindergarten graduation! We had 10 graduates who reached this milestone. Some registered with our pilot program in October of 2016;  others with our full rollout in January of this year.  I am still flabbergasted at the amount of planning that went into the graduation. Try as we might, there were still last-minute details that threatened to derail us, such as a “broken” printer! Luckily, we pulled it together, thanks to my fabulous detail-oriented partner-in-crime Susan Flinspach, who has put in thousands of volunteer hours toward this program. I believe the parents, children, family members, volunteers and local officials that participated all had a great time.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Reach Out and Read and Library Partnerships Bridge the Literacy Gap

Reach Out and Read (ROR) delivers books to children who wouldn’t otherwise receive them.  The program model for Reach and Read is for pediatricians to give books to families during well child visits from birth through age five. In pediatric exam rooms nationwide, pediatricians provide new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. In many cases, this will be the first book that a child owns. That’s because Reach Out and Read serves many children in poverty, some whom have no books in the home and have barriers to accessing library services. Oral vocabulary is the number one predictor of school readiness. Considering that 80% of child’s brain is developed by the age of three, talking, reading and singing to children is the best way to help them develop the brain connections they need to be successful in school and beyond. Public libraries offer…

Early Literacy

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queens at the Library? Yes! Drag Queens at the library reading picture books? Definitely YES!! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was created in San Francisco, CA by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions.  It has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and a multitude of other cities. Libraries all over the country are embracing this program with open arms! DQSH is a delightful celebration of diversity and gender fluidity. It gives children and their families and caregivers positive role models who break gender stereotypes, and encourage children to be exactly who they want to be. Check out below to see what three librarians think about bringing the program to their libraries, and to see a few photos!   From the New York Public Library, Early Literacy Coordinator, Eva Shapiro, says “Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful addition to the New York Public Library’s early literacy programming. This…

Blogger Ericka Chilcoat

Thoughts on Graduation

graduation, graduates, cap and gown

This is the time of year when you can’t avoid the evidence-it’s graduation time. You either know someone who is graduating or someone you know is going to a graduation. A friend’s child barely made it across the finish line and there’s relief. Others are in the throes of meeting final requirements, getting signatures, and making arrangements for the big day and beyond.