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Initiatives and Services

Colorado State Libraries Early Learning and Literacy

Initiatives and Services

The Colorado State Library (CSL) is a unit of the Colorado Department of Education serving all libraries in Colorado. Along with a variety of initiatives, CSL offers early literacy support from the office of Literacy and Youth Services.

Colorado has a vision for the education of our youth, and libraries are perfectly positioned to carry this out. We support the education (and wellbeing) of children, teens and families by coordinating statewide initiatives for early literacy, summer learning, outdoor experiences, and other campaigns.

We study, host statewide conversations, form partnerships, and offer resources and training so Colorado library professionals can maximize your early literacy service with confidence and pride.

Mother and baby reading a book and smiling
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Growing Readers Together

Growing Readers Together is a specific initiative focusing on early literacy and support for Family, Friend, and Neighbor childcare. Grant opportunities and early literacy services are funded by the Buell Foundation and the Colorado Department of Human Resources Preschool Development Grant, and are provided at no cost to Colorado libraries. See GRT Service Menu and the GRT Interest Form.

Early frameworks

This Early Literacy Framework for Colorado public libraries is intended to point to the next level of early literacy in public libraries for 2020 through 2025. The Colorado State Library recognizes that libraries prioritize their funds, staff, and resources based on their local needs and goals even as they have varied resources, funding, and staff for early literacy.

Play Learn Grow

The Play, Learn and Grow workshop was created by the Growing Readers Together team, and it includes a video (DVD available), a facilitator guide, and participant activity sheets. It can be hosted in one longer session or divided into (up to) four shorter sessions. With the facilitator's packet, library staff can host independently or invite a Growing Readers Together early literacy librarian to co-host. To learn more, please contact us.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

This program is a partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, State Library, local library systems, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Libraries across the state are offering two "Check Out State Parks" passes, each for distribution with an activity backpack containing binoculars, brochures and other educational materials to library patrons.

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Colorado is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program and the Colorado State Library offers resources to help you make your summer reading program a success!

letter blocks S P E L L

SPELL was an IMLS funded project involving several Colorado libraries that concluded in 2016. The SPELL project's focus was to determine best ways to support parents and caregivers in their early literacy efforts through libraries. The effort uncovered many insights which led to recommendations for best practices.