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Colorado State Libraries Early Learning and Literacy
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Colorado State Library (CSL) Resources

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.

Two very young boys on the floor in a classroom reading picture books, laughing and smiling

chipmunk reads story book to group of woodland animals

Each day there is a unique and fun idea for activities that help children explore, play, and grow to love reading. Use this form to request printed copies in English and Spanish for your library.

Story Blocks: Songs and Rhymes that Build Readers

Storyblocks is a project of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) and the Colorado State Library, working in partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Services. It is a collection of 30-60 second videos designed to model to parents, caregivers, and library staff some songs, rhymes, and fingerplays appropriate for early childhood. Each video clip includes helpful early literacy tips to increase caregivers' understanding of child development and pre-literacy needs. Enjoy these fun songs, rhymes, and fingerplays in several different languages!

Let's Learn and Play! CSL Storytime Kits

Borrow CSL Storytime Kits for your Baby and Toddler Storytimes. Whether you are new at delivering storytimes or want to refresh your existing programs, these kits will let you explore new titles and fun resources. The kits are based on Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd edition, and feature books, songs, rhymes, early literacy tips for parents, and hands-on aces that correspond with the critical early literacy aces of reading, talking, singing, wring, and playing.

Please note: The statewide courier service has paused pick-up and delivery for the Colorado State Library until further notice. We will make a public announcement when we are added back to the route.

open book inside a circle

Talking, singing, reading, wring, and playing with your baby, toddler, or preschooler can help them learn to read and write in kindergarten. The Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado State Library have prepared a hand brochure with tips and Activity ideas to help your child get ready to read. You can download the brochure as a PDF in English or Spanish.

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Colorado Early Literacy Organizations

CLEL

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: Informing, Inspiring and Innovating Literacy in Colorado

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 and read Colorado

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.

Read with Me Logo: Food. Water. Shelter. Love. Reading

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.

Colorado Department of Education

The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines describe the path of children's learning and development from birth to eight years old. They're designed so that everyone who cares for young children can play an important part in giving Colorado's kids a healthy start.

Bright by Text

A free service that shares timely tips and playful activities delivered by text message, including promoting local early learning events and opportunities. As a Bright By Text partner you can engage your local families and promote library events.

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Support for Virtual Programming

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) and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

Virtual Events Calendar

The Colorado State Library has created this shared Virtual Events Calendar for all Colorado residents. You can quickly find and participate in live and recorded programs and activities while at home. These online events provide opportunities to engage kids, have fun, improve your skills, explore other worlds, and foster ideas – all from the safety of home. Families and individuals of all ages can find enjoyable offerings.

Virtual Storytime Services Guide
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Early Literacy Programs

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.

LENA Start

LENA Start is an evidence-based community program designed to engage families and help them learn how to increase conversation with their children during the first few years of life.

1000 books before kindergarten: read it and reap!

The challenge is simple, read 1000 books with your child before they begin kindergarten. Find programming templates and apps to support libraries.

Resources from the Colorado State Library.

Family Place Libraries Building Foundations for Early Learning

Transforming libraries into community centers for literacy, early childhood development, parent education and engagement, family support and community information.

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National Early Literacy Programs

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.


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


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


Reading Rockets is a national public media literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.


The Simple Interactions Tool provides a common, descriptive language to talk about interactions in practice. It serves as a visual representation, highlighting the four dimensions of developmental interactions: Connection, Reciprocity, Inclusion, and Opportunity to Grow.


As you meet the new challenges that each day brings, supporting you is Vroom's primary focus. Vroom is here to share simple and fun ways to boost learning that don't require more time or money. Vroom tips are always free, flexible, and designed to support you in your daily life.


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.