Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan - November 2016 Newsletter

every child ready to read

Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan  -  November 2016

In This Issue:

This Month's Wisdom...

"Planning a storytime and you need some additional ideas? Go to the “Everything Preschool” theme site. Themes are listed alphabetically. For example, for “Pets” click on “P” and then pets. Then you can find suggested songs, art ideas and games. They also list books, but I think we can do better picks here than what they have listed!" 

~ Sue McCleaf Nespeca


Partnering with Other Caregivers in the Community


One of the workshops in the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) Manual is a workshop to collaborate with community partners to help children get ready to read. The workshop lasts around 45-50 minutes and includes topics such as: research on early literacy; the importance of early literacy skills; the important role caregivers and parents play; the five practices; the importance of a child’s home environment; and how the public library can help. Here are just a few of the groups you can attempt to reach with the importance of early literacy.

1. Preschools – (both school-run and faith-based) commercial preschools and preschools at colleges and universities.

2. Public schools that have preschool programs

3. Head Start and Early Start programs

4. Healthcare providers, particularly those who already participate in the national Reach Out And Read Project

5. County public health agencies

6. Local chapters of or affiliates of the National Association for the Education of Young Children

7. Human services agencies and shelters

8. Regional or state-wide early literacy coalitions or initiatives such as Success by 6, the Family Reading Partnership, Parent-Child Home Programs etc.

9. Teen parents at vocational or high schools

10. Families at homeless centers

11. Parents attending WIC (women, infant and children) centers

12. Families at migrant camps

13. Families in housing projects or low-income housing

14. Caregivers at adult literacy classes

15. Foster Parent Groups

In addition to handouts provided in the ECRR manual, here is another tip sheet you might wish to share:

 "Do’s To Promote Literacy Experiences"

  •  Read Aloud to Children On a Daily Basis
  • Read to Children for Enjoyment - Not to Teach Them to Read or to Learn Phonics
  • Do Not Use Worksheets or Ditto Sheets
  • Allow Children to Ask Questions About Books You Have Read
  • Talk About the Books You Have Read
  • Read Different Types of Stories
  • Use Wordless Books and Have Children Tell the Story Through the Pictures
  • Use Literature Extensions Whenever Possible
  • Have a Variety of Writing Materials
  • Have Books For Children to Look at During Free Times


New Book of the Month

5 Little Ducks

Five Little DucksDenise Fleming. Beach Lane, 2016.
ISBN:978-1-4814-2422-6. $17.99.

 It is exciting to see a new book by author/illustrator Denise Fleming, as her books are so perfect for very young children. Her paper-making technique, pulp painting, lends itself well to the large and bright child-appealing illustrations found here. The familiar song, “Five Little Ducks,” is presented with a few twists, but the traditional song would make a great extension after sharing this version. In addition, days of the week are introduced for young children to learn. And the back matter is excellent. There is much to discover with facts presented about the characters seen in the book: the mallard duck family; green frogs, flying squirrels; wild turkeys, box turtles, pigs and a little girl named Anna who is photo bombed by a squirrel. And then, there is a third way to use this book, as children are asked to go back through the story and find dragonflies, whirligig beetles, flies, a rabbit, a deer, sheep, a horse, crows, cows, squirrels, a dog, and a cat and kittens. Regarding the ECRR five early literacy practices, this book works well for all five --- to child participation (talking), singing, reading (again and again) playing (acting out the story) and writing (drawing a favorite character from the book as one example.) This is must purchase for every library!

Resource Books to Share with Early Childhood Educators

Muffin Man

Many libraries have a “parent/teacher” section with useful resource books that can be borrowed by early childhood educators. Even if you do not have such a section, it would be great if you could have useful resource books for ECE teachers to borrow (and you will love them too, as they will help with programming.) Some of my favorites, that are popular with ECE teachers, have been written by consultant Pam Schiller. Here are a few of her books that every library should consider for purchase:  

  • And the Cow Jumped Over the Moon: Over 650 Activities to Teach Toddlers Using Familiar Rhymes and Songs 
  • Do You Know the Muffin Man?  Literacy Activities Using Favorite Rhymes and Songs.
  • Where is Thumbkin? 500 Activities to Use with Songs You Already Know
  • The complete Resource Book for Infants: Over 700 Experiences for Children from Birth to 18 Months
  • The Complete Resource Book for Toddlers and Twos: Over 2000 Experiences and Ideas
  • The Complete Resource Book for Preschoolers: An Early Childhood Curriculum with Over 2000 Activities and Ideas
  • The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants
  • The Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, Stories and Fingerplays: Over 450 Spanish/English Selections 

Websites of the Month


The recommended "New Book" in the above article was written and illustrated by Denise Fleming. At her web site you can find some wonderful colorful posters about reading, librarians, and how she does her pulp painting. Each poster is a PDF and you can download them in color in either an 8 ½ x 11 size OR 13 x 17. To see these posters, go to: http://www.denisefleming.com/pages/posters/posters-main.html

 Planning a storytime and you need some additional ideas? Go to the “Everything Preschool” theme site. Themes are listed alphabetically. For example, for “Pets” click on “P” and then pets. Then you can find suggested songs, art ideas and games. They also list books, but I think we can do better picks here than what they have listed! 

 So you have your theme for storytime and book ideas. How about songs? We know from ECRR the importance of using several songs in a storytime program. Go to http://www.kididdles.com/, click on “All Songs” for hundreds of song ideas, listed alphabetically. Lyrics are given, but many songs have music notes after their title, which means you can also hear the song sung in case you forgot or don’t know the tune. 

 Many of us use Pinterest for program ideas. If you want a one-stop place for over 1,000 open-ended art ideas (a fun end to a preschool storytime) follow this link to a great board on Pinterest.



Doing Outreach When You Have No Time to Do Outreach

I have worked in all sizes of public libraries, and I did in reverse order for some reason. I started at a large city system and worked my way up to Head of the Children’s Room. Then, I moved to a medium-size city system and was Children’s Coordinator for the Main Library and several branches. My next move was to a small town library were I headed the children’s section and was Assistant Director.  I finally ended up at the largest regional system in Ohio as the Children’s Specialist. At each location, there were many of the same responsibilities in programming– from storytimes to summer reading etc. What was entirely different at each site was what I was able to do in terms of outreach to early childhood educators and those who work with young children. It was frustrating to know what you should be doing, but were unable to because of time or staffing constraints. So, let’s just say that doing outreach is vitally important if there is any way you can do it. But let’s reflect on what you might do if going outside of the building is next to impossible.  

1. Assemble thematic storytime kits that can be requested and picked up at the library for special loan (some libraries allow a longer loan period).

2. House specialized collections at Child-Care headquarters for teachers to check out.

3. Provide monthly/quarterly newsletters developed especially for teachers of young children - mention new books at your library that would be great for story sharing. Also, cover programs you are offering for young children.

4. Model to ECE’s how to do a storytime when groups visit including having children participate in at least one story.

5. Provide special Teacher Resource Collections.

6. Provide an annual workshop on topics of literacy, storytelling etc.