“Every Child Ready to Read really did change my life,” Jeanne McDermott said at the beginning of her presentation at SCLS Wednesday morning, October 26th. She was describing how her experience teaching the 6 ECRR skills to parents on Saturday mornings at the Brooklyn Public Library was how she heard her calling to librarianship after years of working in the publishing business.
Now the 6 skills have been folded into 5 practices: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. All of this and much, much more is described in the ECRR 2nd edition manual.
Other lives besides Jeanne’s are about to be touched by early literacy efforts. Andrea Pavlik – another of yesterday morning’s presenters – and her library are partnering with Raising a Reader, a national network of 2,500 community partners serving 110,000 children and families annually. Huntington Public Library is purchasing 44 book kits to circulate to children at the Head Start Freedom Center in Huntington. Andrea will also be visiting the center on Fridays, when the kids will open their new bag of books to borrow and bring home to share with their family for the week.
“If it were not for the Raising a Reader program,” one participant of the national program reported, “I would not have read to my child at all.”
Carol Burnett of L.I. Head Start also attended yesterday’s workshop focusing on early literacy skills and library service to young children and caregivers. Head Start Centers, Carol explained, are eager to partner with libraries in a way that will benefit both the families of Head Start and libraries looking for a new audience.
Renee McGrath spoke about a program that’s been in place in Nassau County for many years. Children’s librarians visit Head Start Centers on a rotating schedule (similar to Suffolk’s Stony Brook hospital visits) and offer storytime. “These visits are one of the most rewarding parts of our job,” Renee said. Many in the audience are already visiting their local Head Start centers and they, too, could attest to how fulfilling it is to see the children excited about reading.
If you missed the program on October 26th, the Power Point presentations are available on the SCLS Gateway page. You may also contact Alison for more information.