Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

The Changing Face of Summer Reading

Spring is in the air here in Washington, D.C. and I find myself thinking ahead to the upcoming summer months. We will be starting our annual Summer Reading Challenge soon. At my library, this is geared towards people of all ages though it is more popular with the children. In past years, we have had game boards with different activities for each age range including our youngest patrons ages birth to five. Some of these activities are as simple as reciting your ABC’s. Older preschoolers have had the opportunity to practice writing. These activities seem geared towards early literacy which we know is very important for emerging readers. In addition, we often have special guest performers who get the children further excited. Past visitors have included science programs as well as storytellers. We also have had the Washington Nationals, our local baseball team, as one of our sponsors. This has…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Picturing Palestine

President Biden officially declared April National Arab American Heritage Month and in that spirit, this post will take the opportunity to highlight some picture books about Palestinian Arabs, a group that does not often make it onto our library shelves. For an excellent discussion about the absence and erasure of Palestinian stories from the publishing landscape please see this discussion from November 2022 between Betsy Bird and Nora Lester Murad in SLJ’s fuse 8 blog. The selected picture books listed below celebrate and highlight Palestinian culture, self-determination, and identity, while also acknowledging the loss and trauma faced by Palestinians due to their expulsion from their homeland and subsequent life spent under military occupation, in refugee camps, or in exile. For other related picture books about the refugee experience please see the ALSC blog post Exploring the refuge child experiences through picture books. For books for older readers about Palestinians and…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

(Low Budget) Program in a Post: The Floor is Lava

Planning for summer reading while programming for spring is tiring. This easy, low-prep, low-budget program is perfect for spring break and no-school days. Check it out! Overview “The Floor is Lava” invites families of all ages to take the classic living room and playground imagination game to the next level. They must use the available materials to make their way across the “lava” floor, but be careful not to touch the ground or be tagged by the lava monster.  The combination of open play and nostalgia was a hit with both grownups and kiddos, with 60+ participants stopping to play between 10am-6pm.  Supplies Use what you have on hand. Here are some suggestions: Families will be creative with whatever you provide. Many things can be donated by local businesses (cardboard boxes!) or borrowed from staff. Set Up Spread the supplies out across the room. Families are encouraged to move things…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Food, Love, and Grandparents

The month of December, when extended families often get together to celebrate their respective religious or cultural traditions, is a great time to also celebrate the multigenerational connections that many children have with their grandparents. The following selection of picture books celebrate the bonds between children and grandparents that are made stronger through cooking and sharing food. Whether it’s identifying which wild vegetables should be harvested and how they should be prepared, waiting for dough to rise, or navigating the multistep process of making tofu from scratch, the deliberate, thoughtful, and often lengthy process of meal preparation leads to deeper communication and understanding between the grandparents and grandchildren in these stories. See also the recent post Around the World With Foodie Picture Books which features several books about children connecting with a grandparent over food. What else is out there that is missing from this list? Please share your favorite…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

What’s on the Menu: Early Childhood Programs & Services at ALA Annual

Can you believe it’s finally happening? The ALA Annual Conference is back! Soon, thousands of people who work in and support libraries will gather in Washington, D.C. to learn, network, and celebrate what we do. There are so many topics and events to be excited about. For today’s post I’ll be sharing some of the wonderful programming in store for people who work to serve young children and their families in library spaces. If you are interested too, read on!

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Serving Expectant Parents & Families with Newborns From Where We Are Today

It is important that expectant parents and those with newborns know they are welcome at the library, even as pandemic precautions persist. Luckily, there is someone there to help them – YOU! Acknowledging them with a simple “hello” can be a high point of their day, especially if they are feeling overwhelmed. A sympathetic “some days are like that!” may lower the pressure when they are dealing with a fussy child. Life in the library is beginning to look more familiar as things begin to “open up more.”.  There are still precautions to take to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy until this pandemic is over. Keeping this is mind may have an impact on your library’s ability to do in-person programming and outreach for families with infants since they are at a higher risk. Programs may be offered as a series, once a month or quarterly. Keep your…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

ECPS: New Year, New Projects

As 2021 draws to a close, it seems like just the right time to share a little bit about what the Early Childhood Programs and Services committee has been up to, and what our future plans are! This year has been a tricky one to navigate as a committee, as it surely has been for many readers. It took us some time to get settled as a group, and understand what is possible and useful as conditions changed for libraries. Our original project was to create an online education opportunity on the topic of trauma-informed services as they relate to early childhood and family services. For many reasons, this project was shelved for the time being, though we hope to return to it in the coming months. While a change of plans can be frustrating and feel like a defeat, our committee was fortunately able to focus on an important…