Growing Readers Together Quick Bites

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Quick Bites

GRT Quick Bites are 20-minute micro-learning webinar opportunities designed for busy children’s librarians across Colorado who are interested in accessing a bit of fresh early learning information and inspiration.

Coming Soon! Watch for announcements about the July 2021 Quick Bite Series.


Brain Development, Early Experience, and Library Programs – What’s the connection? – Have you ever wondered how the programs and services your library offers young children are making a difference? The children and families seem to enjoy themselves and show up regularly, but does that really support growth and development? Epigenetics- an emerging field of science studying how experiences affect genetic expression- says, “Yes, it really does!” Join Joyce Johnson, Growing Readers Together Coordinator, for a quick dive into this fascinating area of study to learn how.

Sibling Care and Teens as FFNs – How often do you see teens caring for younger siblings in your library? Youth caregivers are an often overlooked part of a community’s early childhood landscape. Join Kate to learn more about youth caregivers and how library staff can more effectively support them and the younger siblings in their care.

Mindful Moments in Storytime – Mindful moments can be added to any storytime, in the same way that we include songs and movements. Preparing children to thrive includes fostering their executive function, self regulation, and emotional literacy. Teaching mindfulness to children does all this and more! In this session we will learn simple breathing, yoga, and focus techniques that you can easily incorporate into your storytime for a quick and effective mindful moment.

STEM with Toddlers: Yes You Can! – Toddlers are natural scientists. Dropping blocks down the stairs? Physics experiment with gravity! Banging pots and pans? An exploration of sound waves! Come learn how to use play-based programming to foster scientific thinking in our youngest library users and how to encourage families and FFNs to embrace the mess of STEAM-powered play.

Grandparents as Informal Caregiver – Grandparents are ideal caregivers for children ages 0-5. They offer cost benefits, trust, consistency, and LOVE. They care for about 25% of children under 5–about the same number in formal care. Join this webinar to learn more about who they are, what they need, and how libraries can support them.

Read with me! Inviting Children into the Reading Experience – When you read WITH children, rather than to them, you invite children to participate in the experience of reading and create opportunities for language and cognitive growth. asking questions, making connections, and exploring the pictures are a few ways to invite children to read with you. Modeling this to caregivers at storytime can open up a new world of literacy and language opportunities. We will explore strategies to make your storytelling more interactive, practice creating early literacy tips for caregivers, and discuss how to make this part of every storytime.

Connecting with Regional Colleagues for Support  – Holding space to connect with others during busy work schedules can be a challenge. And, the challenge is well worth it. Building trust and engaging with peers boosts creativity and confidence. Let’s exchange ideas on how to plant seeds and develop meaningful connections for networking and staying in touch.

Access the notes for a follow-up Zoom discussion. You should be able to view and edit the document. Please add to it as you try new things,  find great resources, and have ideas to share.

Windows and Mirrors: Making Diversity a Part of Every Storytime  — All children need diverse books to offer them windows into the experiences of others, and mirrors that reflect their own experiences. Together we will explore how to integrate picture books and music that honor our differences into every storytime theme as well as how to evaluate diverse materials that respect different cultures, lifestyles, and “own voices” literature.

Speaking ECCE: Early Learning Domains  – Join us for a down & dirty introduction to developmentally appropriate practice and Colorado’s domains of early learning. We’ll talk about how to connect your early learning services to evidence-based early childhood practices and check out where to go to learn more about how to translate your library services into Early Childhood Care & Education language for families, FFNs, and other community stakeholders.

Are Play Groups Right for Your Library?  – Playful learning is serious business in early childhood! It is a natural, everyday occurrence for children, and experts have proven its value with child development and success. Discover the different types of play groups out there, their purpose and potential impact, and why this may be a great niche for your library (in the spirit of equal access to all). Explore what it would take and identify measurable benefits. Whether or not you decide this is right for your library, we will point you to resources for further inquiry.

Activating the Hidden Senses at Storytime – Young children of all abilities learn best when their senses are fully activated, but did you know we use SEVEN senses to understand ourselves and our environment? Two “hidden senses,” the proprioceptive and vestibular senses, are essential for balance and body awareness and keep us alert and attentive. Learn how to plan storytimes that provide sensory input, identify sensory seeking behaviors, and educate caregivers about these hidden senses.

Full-Spectrum Literacy – Libraries have a long history of supporting children’s print literacy development. Now, as we move further into the 21st century, the concept of literacy and the learning demands on young children seem to be expanding. Technology, emotional intelligence, communication, executive function, citizenship, cultural competence, and more are becoming significant parts of a young child’s early education. Join us in exploring literacy through a wider lens as we begin thinking deeply about what this means for children & families, as well as, formal & informal caregivers in our library communities.

Process Over Product: Explore the Magic of Open Ended Creativity – Offering young children the opportunity to explore with art materials without a product in mind unleashes their creativity and engages young minds. Process art can come in many forms, from truly messy, free form projects, to easy adaptions to a storytime craft. Join Melody Garcia from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for a “Quick Bites” look at how the process art model can be adapted to fit any library.

Brilliant Baby Brains – Babies are born with over 100 billion neurons and trillions of synapses. From this abundance of raw material, an incredible sculpting process takes place in a young child’s brain over their first years of life. Join Kate Brunner from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for a “Quick Bites” look at the incredible impact that a robust array of early learning experiences and caregiving relationships can have on 0-5 brain development.

Right Size Your Early Literacy Programming – So many great ideas and only so much time– how do you choose? Join Gail Yerbic from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for some “Quick Bites” tools to align your library’s goals and resources for maximum impact while keeping your schedule manageable.

Early Literacy Tips That Stick: Refining Your Early Literacy Message – You know that every song you sing and book you share at storytime helps kids get ready to read, but how do you impart your knowledge to caregivers? Join Melody Garcia from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for a “Quick Bites” look at a simple ways to capitalize on teachable moments and showcase early literacy research in a way that makes caregivers sit up and listen.

Creating Synergy: Weaving Together Early Learning Services – Early learning comes in many shapes and sizes and impacts all areas of growth in the first 5 years. During this time, the foundation is created for later success in life. Join Gail Yerbic from our new Growing Readers Together (GRT) Early Literacy Support Team for a “Quick Bites” look at how to weave together learning opportunities for language, cognitive, social & emotional, and physical development as we discuss how to create sparks in those little brains!

Caregiver Café: What Is It & How Do I Host One? – Wondering what a family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) caregiver is or how to connect with the FFNs in your community? This Quick Bite introduces a simple, but impactful program you can use to jump start relationship building and outreach to this important population.