Ready to Read Michigan - Fall Newsletter

every child ready to read

Ready to Read Michigan Newsletter  -  Fall  2018

In This Issue:

This Week's Wisdom...

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."

~ Victor Hugo



Touch the Brightest Star is Almost Here...

Touch the Brightest Star

Ready to Read Michigan (RTRM) is in its 2nd year; created to equip public library staff to share information about early literacy with families and caregivers through public library storytimes and outreach, focusing on children ages 0-5. RTRM is intended to support public library staff in learning about early literacy skill development as a foundation to future reading development to enable success in formal schooling and beyond.

As I type, pallets of Touch the Brightest Star  books are floating somewhere on a freighter, making their way to Lansing, MI from the publisher's printing press overseas. Harper Collins Publishing and the author/illustrator, Christie Matheson, are thrilled that the Library of Michigan's Youth Services Advisory Council selected this title for the 2019 RTRM book program.   

Touch the Brightest Star was selected for its beautiful watercolor and cut-paper collage illustrations, which help guide readers through an interactive story, from sunset to sunrise.  The rhyming text encourages children to engage with the book to navigate the nighttime sky!  All in all, it makes for a wonderful, interactive read-aloud for storytimes and outreach.

Public libraries will receive the kit in late January/early February, including books to gift to any early childhood centers or daycares you visit or have in to the library for storytime. If you are in a school and not a public library, we ask that you contact your local library to host a program for students, 5 years & under.  Posters, bookmarks, are also included in the kits for public libraries, to connect with families with very young children.  New this year will be a flannel board cut-out sheet for you to laminate and use in storytime.  As with last year's program, the programming guide will be accessible online and easy to download & print, with coloring sheets, storytime dice template, and more. 

Support for this program is provided by the Insitute of Museum and Library Services, with additional support from the Consumers Energy Foundation and the Library of Michigan Foundation.

"A Universe of Stories" and Early Literacy

young children in space shuttle

Summer 2019's Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) slogan is "A Universe of Stories," with artwork by children's illustrator Leeza Hernandez.  Public Libraries in Michigan are all members of CSLP, through the Library of Michigan with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Public libraries can access the manual online by logging into and requesting a manual code under "Proprietary Downloads."  (If you are a school, you may contact your local public library to collaborate with them.) This coming summer's manual includes programming basics for early literacy, infant, toddler and preschooler programs plus a Spanish Manual. Reproducible activity sheets, reading logs, rhymes, and even links to songs on YouTube are available.  

Public libraries are encouraged to collaborate with local daycares, early childhood centers and schools to bring "A Universe of Stories" to your community.

#LibrariesLiftOff is our 2019 hashtag, so please share photos, ideas and more with CSLP and the Library of Michigan on social media by using this hashtag.  Remember, CSLP isn't just for school-aged children, it is designed for the whole family! 


ALSC: a Survey and a Grant

young child painting

The American Library Services for Children's (ALSC) Summer/Out-of-School-Time Learning Task Force is looking for YOUR feedback on how to share best practices about Summer Learning.  Please fill out this survey:

ALSC now accepting applications for 2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press 'Light the Way' Grant The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSUCTC) are now accepting online applications for the 2018 Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved grant. This $3,000 grant, made possible by Candlewick Press in honor of Newbery Medalist and Geisel Honoree author Kate DiCamillo, will go to a library conducting exemplary outreach to underserved populations through a new program or an expansion of work already being done.

Early Literacy eResources from

MeL Logo

October 1st marked the launch of the Library of Michigan's new, updated, Michigan eLibrary Here is a look at a couple of the early literacy eResources available for use: 

  • World Book’s Early World of Learning is for PreK-3 grades and through their “Read” link you will be connected to Trek’s Travels and the Welcome to Reading area. Trek’s Travels offers a selection of early reader books with a read-along narrator. Welcome to Reading contains books for new readers with the same read-along narrator. Words are highlighted as the narrator reads so it’s easier for auditory learners to follow along.
  •  Britannica offers Learning Zone which is for PreK-2nd grade kids. This resource offers activity-centered learning to explore, play, read and build technology skills. Letters, numbers, geography, shapes and more are included.

Diversity and Cultural Literacy Toolkit

The School Library Journal (SLJ) has published a Diversity and Cultural Literacy Toolkit that includes articles, videos and other content that was used to train librarians in 2018. Be sure to check it out for tips & information on diversity & cultural literacy!

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