Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan - May 2017

every child ready to read

Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan -  May 2017

In This Issue:

This Month's Wisdom...

Lately, our country has been bombarded by upsetting news and chaos on an almost daily basis. Children are hearing this, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Study, which states that “65% of today's children live in homes where the TV is on half the time, and in 36% of homes, the TV is on all the time. This study also points to research stating that TV in the background has an impact on children because ‘the content is not designed for them.'“

~ Sue McCleaf Nespeca 


Every Child Ready to Read Toolkit for Serving Early Childhood Educators

ECRR Toolkit

By now, many of you have received the download for the ECRR Toolkit for Serving Early Childhood Educators, thanks to the Library of Michigan, with funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. 102 public libraries requested and received the kit, and the Library of Michigan still has 8 available for public libraries on a first come, first serve basis. If you wish to obtain a download to this product, write Cathy Lancaster at: lancasterc5@michigan.gov.

I realize some of you may have already gone through it page-by-page, but for those of you who have not had time to explore it yet, I would like to share a little information about the kit. This was a product that came out of ALA’s ECRR Oversight Committee that I chair, however I was not chair when the product was first developed. Either way, I needed to write a review of it when it was published, so I have had a chance to explore it in detail.

This is the second toolkit that has been developed since the second edition of the Every Child Ready to Read Project was released. The other toolkit was a product for those working with Spanish-speaking communities.

This toolkit is aimed at public library staff as a how-to manual to train early childhood educators. Early childhood educators here include: licensed home child care providers, child care center staff, Head Start teachers, preschool teachers, and other child care professionals. This toolkit addresses what it means to partner with and train early childhood educators. (ECE’s)

One of the first things the authors caution users is to check if their state has a trainer approval process and whether one needs to meet the standards for providing early learning training, including any content or length requirements. ECE’s will want any credit they can obtain and possibly need for licensing standards.

As with the manual, a powerpoint presentation is included and it is editable. If the entire presentation were done, it would be two hours in length (though again, content can be adjusted according to the length of time you have.) It is recommended that you speak with the host or organization head to get an idea of the level of knowledge and experience of the participants. Often you will find there is quite a range. Because you will include your own book and activity examples, the presentation should be interesting to a novice, or even the most experienced educators. It is also a good idea to provide opportunities for participants to share their own experiences. The kit includes a group of videos showing child care providers interacting with the children in their care, illustrating some of the points being made.

The powerpoint presentation includes complete notes for each slide so that you have all the material you need to do the actual presentation. There is also an area where you can add your own library information about resources and programs, and a section on ice breakers. Most helpful is a link that takes you to each state’s early learning standards for language and literacy. 

Here are the links for the state of Michigan:

Michigan Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs (Revised March 2013) 

Birth to 3 years Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Prekindergarten (2005)

Finally, there is a section in the new ECRR Toolkit on assessments and evaluations so if you wish, you can do a pre-and post-assessment.

I hope all of you who received this download will be able to use this material in the future!


New Books of the Month


It's a Dog's World!

I am not really sure why all three recommended books below are about dogs, since I am a cat lover, but here goes! 

Raymond. Yann & Gwendal Le Bec. Candlewick Press, 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-7636-8950-6. $16.99.

You know you are in for a treat when you see Raymond on the cover walking on two legs (instead of four), carrying what appears to be a cup of Starbucks coffee (the cup has his name on it) and a copy of Dogue (Vogue) magazine under his front paw. And on the back cover, “Little dog, big dreams.” Raymond has a very happy dog life with his family, but, one day, while watching the family eat at the table, he gets the idea that he should sit at the table also because that is what “families do together.” Each day he becomes more and more like a human and even begins to walk on two feet. As he watches his family heading out to work (and school) one day, he decides he too needs a job, and gets hired by Dogue magazine as a reporter. Eventually overworked and missing his family, he finally decides that his dog’s life was not so bad after all! 


Poor Louie. Tony Facile. Candlewick, 2017.
ISBN:  978-0-7636-5828-1. $16.99.

Louie, just like Raymond above, has the perfect dog life, but, at the beginning of the book, we see that he was attempting to run away from home. Why? Well, because they started to appear at his house while his Mom entertained her friends. They turned out to be babies who pulled on Louie’s ears and squeezed his tummy. Then, all of the sudden things began to get weird at his house. His dinner was no longer on the table with the rest of the family, but on the floor. On walks, he was no longer protected from the rain, and bedtime wasn’t fun anymore either because his parents were preoccupied coming up with names beginning with the letter “P.” Mom’s belly started growing and wait a minute -- the family was buying TWO of everything! Louie could handle one of those creatures, but certainly not two! That was when Louie decided to run away from home. The twist at the end of the story will be surprising for adults and children alike. Yes, this is a book to recommend to a child who must adjust to a new sibling, but it is also just a fun story even for those not expecting a new baby. 

Wolf in the Snow. Matthew Cordell. Feiwel & Friends, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-250-07636-6. $17.99.

This is a wordless book that you can “read”, yes “READ”, to children in preschool storytime. It is very easy to tell the story through the expressive pictures, and the only words are the sounds of wolves and the family dog. This is an extremely touching story which begins long before the title page, and ends with a comforting family scene that echoes the beginning of the book. A young girl rescues a baby wolf that gets lost from its pack in a deep snow storm and returns him/her to the wolf pack. When she can no longer can go any further in the snow, the wolf pack returns the favor and howl so that the family dog and family can find the young girl and rescue her. A tender, heart-warming story that probably will make my “Mock Caldecott” list. 


Websites of the Month

Activities image

Here are some great websites to recommend to preschool teachers and other early childhood educators. And, the great thing is, there are also ideas you can use!

1.       Teach Preschool by Deborah Stewart - Sections include motor skills, sensory play, and ideas for art activities, STEM and literacy activities including circle time, flannelboard and storytelling suggestions.

2.       Pre-Kinders by Karen Cox – Though you can find much on this site, probably the most popular section is the incredible list of printables. For example, you can print out nursery rhyme posters for a baby or toddler storytime, or a “Wheels of the Bus” take home book. Literacy, math, science and music printables are included. The “themes” section will be helpful for planning storytimes, and there are tons of ideas under the “Learning Activities” section including literacy, math, science, art and music ideas.

3.       Hands On As We Grow - Though there are many curriculum areas at this site, this is most useful for art and craft ideas. My favorite sections are toddler activities, preschool activities and kid art projects.

 4.       DLTK Teach is a very rich site, but my favorite section is their “Children’s Songs, Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes” activities.  Included are: the words/lyrics, free printable coloring pages, craft ideas, puppets, felt board charactersword wall word worksheetspicture crossword puzzles and other activity sheets to go with the songs, rhymes and stories!


kids on ipad

As I write this newsletter, the news today is about 22 people that have been killed, (many children) in Manchester, England after hearing a concert by Ariana Grande (a young artist very popular with young children). Many young people are still missing or are injured.

How do children deal with this news of others, young like them, who have been killed while attending what should have been a happy event, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many?

Lately, our country has been bombarded by upsetting news and chaos on an almost daily basis. Children are hearing this, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Study, which states that “65% of today's children live in homes where the TV is on half the time, and in 36% of homes, the TV is on all the time. This study also points to research stating that TV in the background has an impact on children because ‘the content is not designed for them.’ “

Some libraries and schools actually promote “Screen Free Week” which is celebrated every year on May 1 – 7. 

However, that one week does not answer what happens the other 51 weeks of the year. How do we help young children with the daily barrage of disturbing news?

Here are two sites that have very useful information for parents:

Experts recommend that parents keep the news off around young children and that they develop age-appropriate ways to talk to their children about news they might hear. This site develops tips by age groups: 0-2; 3-5; 6-8; and 9-11. For each age group, subjects covered are: what that age group understands about the news; signs of stress; media recommendations; and communication strategies.

This site also mentions tips according to ages. For all kids, they recommend that parents should consider their own reactions and take action by helping those affected, or attending protests and rallies. For preschool children, they recommend not to listen to news in front of the children. For children ages 8 – 12, one should consider the child’s maturity and temperament; be available for questions and conversations and talk about and filter news coverage.