At tonight’s Breakout Sessions I participated in Aiming for Inclusion in Public Library Early Literacy Programs. Tess Prendergast and Kelly Clark, of Vancouver Public Library, discussed strategies that they initially used in special programs for children with disabilities, but then found to be very useful and appealing to a group of children with a wide range of abilities. For example, children with special needs often benefit from getting to re-tell a story in several different ways. Guess what? So do typically developing children! They brought up some barriers that families with children who have disabilities may encounter with library programs, such as group size and program pacing, and discussed ways they’d tried to minimize these issues.
We got to meet Moe the Mouse and to sing the Pete the Cat song together. It was really nice to be in a smaller group where everyone was able to participate in the conversation and the lovely Fairyland back-drop didn’t hurt either. If you want to delve deeper into how to make your early literacy programs more inclusive take a look at Tess’s blog.