Nationally, there is a lot of attention focused on the importance of early learning. Many organizations are cultivating information and ideas to carry out this priority successfully. Some are focused on theory: why early learning is important and what young learners need. Some incorporate practice: proven strategies for enhancing early literacy, and activities to help young learners. Many weave all of this together and often you will find compatible ideas between organizations.
The different approaches have merit. The trick is to find what speaks to you.
Colorado Organizations Recognized for Their Efforts to Advance Early Literacy
CLEL is a grassroots Colorado organization whose membership is focused on strengthening children’s literacy through library services and community advocacy.
CLEL hosts an annual conference each year for early literacy library staff and provides additional training opportunities through their website.
CCIRA is a professional organization promoting the advancement of literacy, They offer resources, and host an annual conference in the Spring. They are already gearing up for 2022! See an impressive list of speakers including several well-known authors–sure to educate, sure to inspire.
Reach Out & Read teams up with health care providers to talk with parents of young children about the importance of reading aloud at health check-ups with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. They are a potential partner to connect the dots between library service and healthcare.
In Colorado, a high number of students are not reading at grade level by the time they complete third grade. The good news is that there are things we can do before their child enters school that will better prepare them for learning to read. Look for the Community Toolkit that supports your library’s messaging about the joy of learning to read.
A free service to empower parents and caregivers with science-based tips and tools to help them give children a great start in life today—and an even better future.
Bright by Text
Share this opportunity with your audience caring for young children. Another free service that shares timely tips and playful activities delivered by text message.
National Early Literacy Organizations
These are national organizations whose work is based on benefiting the quality of life of families and children. You may find inspiration for your programming priorities.
National Association for the Education of Young Children
NAYEC is a national leader in early childhood practice, policy, and research. They advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children.
Association of Library Service to Children
ALSC is is the library’s go-to for all things dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. They offer national initiatives, professional development, and tools. Book and media awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, are selected through, ALSC, a division of the American Library Association.
National Summer Learning Association
NSLA understands that learning continues throughout the year. As the national leader on summer learning and its role in education reform, NSLA tracks and responds to policy issues that affect summer learning at the federal, state, and local levels. The great part–they share knowledge and resources with you!
Zero to Three
Do you wonder what’s going on inside young, developing brains? Zero to Three is an organization that devotes its advocacy to the development of children from birth to age 3. They cover a range of topics and offer a wealth of resources that apply to all aspects of children’s well-being.
Support for Virtual Programming–A Guide
Association for Library Services to Children and Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Virtual Services Guide
This guide is a resource to those seeking to deliver programs virtually. While this guide focuses on virtual storytime, it also includes helpful resources and suggestions for other online library experiences and virtual children’s programs. This guide was developed in collaboration with Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC),
Help With Your Early Literacy Program Planning
Every Child Ready to Read
Every Child Ready to Read, a program supported by ALA and ALSC, offers information and resources to reflect upon as you plan your storytime. It is based on these early literacy principles:
Super Charged Storytimes
SuperCharged Storytimes For All is a comprehensive project conducted by experts. They produced a self-paced course offered by Web Junction for free. It is intended for all library practitioners to embed strong early literacy components into storytime. The course consists of six modules to help you make your already great storytime even better!
1000 Books began as a nonprofit charity when a group of folks recognized the huge impact that the simple act of reading with children their first 5 years has on their lifelong learning journey. You will find programming templates and apps to support libraries offering the challenge in their community. Some Colorado libraries have adapted their own version of the program, and it even works with online reading programs such as Beanstack. Parents love it.