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Growing Readers Together

HEADLINE NEWS:

 

STATE LIBRARY RELEASES NEW COLORADO PUBLIC LIBRARIES EARLY LITERACY FRAMEWORK

 

GROWING READERS TOGETHER INCLUDED IN COLORADO’S PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANT

 

Once again, the Buell Foundation is generously supporting the Colorado State Library’s (CSL) partnership with public library systems across the state to implement Growing Readers Together (GRT).  Between 2016 and 2018, fifteen library systems piloted a variety of ways to engage with Family, Friend & Neighbor (FFN) child care providers through an enhanced focus on early literacy. 

Building on those experiences, in its third year of operation GRT is moving beyond the pilot phase and expanding into twenty-four library systems throughout Colorado.  While the expansion means greater geographic reach, the overall goals of the project remain the same: 
  • FFN caregivers in Colorado will have the skills, confidence and resources to engage the children in their care with early literacy materials and activities daily.
  • Public library staff in Colorado will have strategies to connect FFN caregivers in their area with early literacy services.
  • CSL will develop state-level infrastructure for early literacy support to FFN caregivers and the children in their care.
  • Children under six throughout the state will be exposed to language and literacy-rich experiences in informal childcare settings and at the library.

FOLLOW GROWING READERS TOGETHER ON FACEBOOK

With the inclusion of Growing Readers Together in the 3-year renewal of Colorado's PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT GRANT, the GROWING READERS TOGETHER EARLY LITERACY TEAM is listening to libraries across the state in order to best support Colorado libraries' early literacy and Family, Friend and Neighbor (FF&N) service. 

Since 2016 -- With the help of the Buell Foundation who generously supports the Colorado State Library's (CSL) partnership with public library systems across the state to implement Growing Readers Together (GRT), we have gained momentum serving 2 library cohorts with expertise and funding. The effort is focused on supporting libraries to engage with Family, Friend & Neighbor (FFN) child care providers through an enhanced focus on early literacy. 
 
In 2019 -- The Colorado State Library created an Early Literacy Team of three regional specialists (funded by the Preschool Development Grant to extend Growing Readers Together). This team provided workshops and consultations for 10 library systems, produced 10 webinars, and presented at the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy conference and regional Youth Services Workshops. Building on those experiences, in its fourth year of operation, Growing Readers Together has reached and additional 10 library systems with support for informal caregivers of young children via libraries. Since the start in 2016, we have reached 37 library systems and many library professionals.  
 
Looking to the future, the Growing Readers Together Team supports Colorado libraries with these goals in mind:
  • FFN caregivers in Colorado will have the skills, confidence and resources to engage the children in their care with early literacy materials and activities daily.
  • Public library staff in Colorado will have strategies to connect FFN caregivers in their area with early literacy services.
  • CSL will develop state-level infrastructure for early literacy support to FFN caregivers and the children in their care.
  • Children under six throughout the state will be exposed to language and literacy-rich experiences in informal childcare settings and at the library.

RESOURCES FOR GRT LIBRARIES AND THEIR PARTNERS

Learn why libraries choose to participate in Growing Readers Together by clicking here.

The participating public libraries that have been or currently are involved in Growing Readers Together are:
 

 

Background: 

According to the 2013 report School Readiness for All: The Contribution of Friend, Family, and Neighbor (FFN) Care in Colorado, in 2013 an estimated 142,100 children under six experienced some type of unlicensed childcare, with an additional 160,000 receiving care from a stay-at-home parent. For the report, FFN caregivers in eight Colorado communities participated in a survey that revealed that in-home caregivers had strong interest in receiving training and resources to help them improve their knowledge and skills in educating and caring for young children, including the topics of child brain development, appropriate developmental milestones, enriching activities, and techniques to bolster early literacy. FFN providers wished to receive such training and resources in informal environments with social interactions rather than more formal classes. These findings all point to the excellent opportunity for public library staff to provide library services to FFN providers in their communities, with the ultimate goal of increasing the quality and quantity of early literacy activities that providers engage in daily with the children in their care.