Ready to Read Michigan Newsletter

every child ready to read

Ready to Read Michigan  -  Winter 2019

In This Issue:

This Month's Wisdom...

“Peace is being different, feeling good about yourself, and helping others. The world is a better place because of you.” 
~ Todd Parr


Consumers Energy Foundation Grant Helps Provide Reading Opportunities for Thousands of Michigan Children through Ready to Read MI

CE Logo

Thousands of Michigan children will be inspired to read thanks to a $55,125 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation that supports the Library of Michigan’s Ready to Read Michigan book program.

           The support from the Consumers Energy Foundation will help the Library of Michigan Foundation provide books and reading kits to public libraries to reach out to children across the state, ages birth to age 5. The effort, in its third year, promotes an early connection to books and reading for Michigan’s newest generation.

“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring all Michigan residents have access to world-class educational resources, and supporting Ready to Read Michigan through our Foundation is an excellent way to develop literacy skills in Michigan’s youth,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “The program is a collaboration, engaging parents, grandparents, librarians, teachers and caregivers to instill the love of reading and literature in Michigan’s next generation.”


“Through the Ready to Read Michigan program public library staff across the state are equipped with the skills and tools to model early literacy practices to families, caregivers and early childhood educators. With the support from the Consumers Energy Foundation, public libraries are better able to inspire a love of reading in the very young,” State Librarian Randy Riley said.

Ready to Read Michigan is an early literacy program to support public libraries designed to highlight the importance of reading with our very young. For the 2019 program, the Library of Michigan selected “Touch the Brightest Star” by Christie Matheson as the featured book.  The Library of Michigan selected the book because it representes the 5 early literacy practices, according to Every Child Ready to Read®; Talk, Read, Write, Play, Sing.  The programming guide, designed for the kit, provides activities, songs, rhymes and tips on how to engage with very young children using the book. Public libraries reach out to families, caregivers, and child care centers in their community to model the critical early literacy skills using the Ready to Read Michigan program.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity.

In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. That included over $400,000 for early-childhood programs. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit

For more information about Ready To Read Michigan and the Library of Michigan Foundation, go online to: and


Public Library Kits Shipping Out Soon!

Touch the Brightest Star

The Library of Michigan is excited to be sending out our 2019 Ready to Read Michigan program kit by the end of January. Kits are designed to assist public library staff in outreach and in developing early and family literacy in their local community.  The featured book for 2019 is Touch the Brightest Star, by Christie Matheson. This program kit is for use by public library staff kit to encourage the reading of Touch the Brightest Star with children ages 0-5, during “March is Reading Month.”

The Ready to Read Michigan materials and program activities are provided to public libraries throughout the state and are designed for infants, toddlers and preschoolers (ages 0-5) based on the 5 practices of the Public Library Association’s (PLA) Every Child Ready to Read. In February be sure to check out the online programming guide, which contains storytime outlines for various early childhood age groups, reproducible handouts, read-a-like suggestions, and resources.  You can find it online by February for download or print at:

The kit for libraries contains a book for storytime use, both in and outside the library.  Additional copies of the book are for outreach efforts to local facilities during March is Reading Month. New this year will be a sheet of cut-outs for laminating and use as a flannel story! Posters, bookmarks, and stickers (back by popular demand) will also be included to promote the program.

If you are a school library or classroom educator, please contact your local public library to schedule a visit for your PreK, Young 5's, and Kindergarten classes.  You can use the Library of Michigan's public library directory to connect.

A Special RTRM Best Storytime Practices Webinar with Jenifer Strauss

Jen Strauss

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson is also a perfect for the 2019 Summer Reading Program theme; Space: A Universe of Stories. In this informative and interactive webinar, Storyteller and Narrative Consultant, Jenifer Strauss will feature Touch the Brightest Star and then give a plethora of ideas for building a storytime for your youngest patrons using this book and the 2019 SRP theme.

   In this webinar you will:

  • Be introduced to the book; Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson with several examples for how to share with young audiences. 
  • Learn songs about The Sun, The Stars and The Moon.
  • See and Tell interactive stories that coincide with the theme.
  • Lean how to add “Act it Out and Play Options” to the theme.
  • Watch demonstrations for two STEM Activities perfect for young ones!

The Touch the Brightest Star: Ready-To-Read Michigan’s 2019 Children’s Book webinar will be on Thursday, February 21, 2019, at 2:00 pm (ET). Space is limited so register now.

Screen Sense - Research from Zero to Three

Zero to Three

The Zero to Three organization has completed research on "Screen Sense: What the Research Says About the Impact of Media on Children Under 3 Years Old."  Their research summarizes and helps to answer questions on screens and children under age three. 

The following topics are among those covered: 

  • Why very young children sometimes struggle to learn from screen media
  • The influence of parent screen use on children's learning
  • Key ingredients to conseider when making media decisions for children
         (The 3 C's: Content, Context, Child)
  • Key components of screen media content that support early learning

 In addition to their research reports, Zero to Three provides an hour long webinar recording, resources for parents & caregivers, and an article on "Screen-Use Tips for Parents of Children Under Three."  All the research and resources mentioned can be found on the Zero to Three website.