Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library®: Partnering with Caregivers for Success

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Research confirms that reading success starts with young children enjoying library storytimes! Preschoolers' earliest experiences with books and reading are important; parent/caregiver knowledge can build on those experiences, according to research from the National Institute of Child Health & Development, conducted with PLA and ALSC, the co-initiators of the Every Child Ready to Read@your library® program.

Author experts Ghoting and Martin-Diaz combine this cutting-edge early literacy research, which is the heart of the Every Child Ready to Read program, with practical implementation tips for busy children's librarians. Scripts and plans help librarians explain what adults can do to enhance children's print motivation, phonological awareness, vocabulary, narrative skills, print awareness, and letter knowledge. Proven, step-by-step methods address planning, promoting, and assessing this richly informative new kind of storytime. Children's librarians and early childhood experts can:

  • Integrate early literacy research and parental how-to into storytimes
  • Help parents develop self-sufficiency in nurturing their children's early literacy skills
  • Address the developmental needs of early talkers (newborn–2), talkers (age 2–3), and pre-readers (age 4–5)
  • Use the tips, tools, promotional samples, and assessments to build on current programs

Storytime is the perfect time to offer guidance to parents so they can better prepare their children to be successful readers. Here's a proven way for adults to enhance children's reading readiness.


I. The Early Literacy Enhanced Storytime—Background

Chapter 1. Early Literacy Research—Explained

Chapter 2. Incorporating Key Early Literacy Concepts Into Storytime

Chapter 3. Dialogic Reading: How We Read With Children Makes a Difference

Chapter 4. Making Early Literacy Storytimes Accessible to ALL Children

Chapter 5. Early Literacy and Speakers of Languages Other Than English

II. Doing It

Chapter 6: Planning Your Literacy Enhanced Storytimes

Chapter 7: Storytimes for Early Talkers (newborns to 24 months)

Chapter 8: Storytimes for Talkers (two- and three-year-olds)

Chapter 9: Storytimes for Pre-readers and early readers (four- and five-year-olds)

Chapter 10: Build Your Own Early Literacy Storytimes

III. Keeping it Going

Chapter 11. Assessing Your Storytime

Chapter 12. Promoting

IV. Appendices

Appendix A. Manual Alphabet

Appendix B. Encouraging early literacy at home
Sample Parent Tip Take-Home Pages
Sample Parent Letters

Appendix C. Storytime Aids
What Can I Say? From Skill to Parent/Caregiver
General Ideas for Each Skill
Sample of Storytime Planning Sheet

Appendix D. Early Literacy Aids
Sample Bookmarks for Dialogic Reading
Sample Skills Poster
Language of Literacy Hand-out
Letter Sounds for Letter-Day Activities

Appendix E. Resources

Appendix F. Books/CDs Used in Cuddle-Up Storytime Samples

Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting

Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting, an early childhood literacy consultant, worked on the PLA/ ALSC initiative, Every Child Ready to Read @your library®. She implemented the program at Maryland's Montgomery County Public Library when she was early childhood services coordinator. A children's librarian since 1976, she stays in touch with public service by working at Neill Public Library (Pullman, WA) and Moscow (ID) Public Library. She received her MLS from Catholic University. Follow her on Twitter at @sghoting.

Pamela Martin-Diaz

Pamela Martin-Diaz is branch manager of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind., where she was a major writer of an early literacy grant, funded by the Lilly Foundation, which established early learning centers in branches and purchased materials for parents to use with their young children to promote letter and sound awareness. She developed a set of cards called "Playing with Words on the Go!" designed to help children with phonological awareness as well as the game "Letter Play Sets" (available through Allen County Public Library), both of which help libraries incorporate early literacy in their story times. Pamela has presented workshops and seminars on early literacy in several venues, as well as presented numerous training sessions locally for Head Start and other early childhood providers.