From the desk of Carolyn Petersen
In the spirit of it takes a village to raise a child Washington libraries offer preschool storytimes because attending storytime has been proven to increase the kindergarten readiness skills a child needs.
This spring the Washington State Library will debut a series of trainings, All Aboard for Kindergarten, around the state. The trainings are intended to strengthen youth services staff skills around the five key early literacy practices.
Sing, talk, read, write and play are all essential building blocks for early literacy.
The Every Child Ready Read program which was developed by the Public Library Association identifies those five practices as essential.
Sing: When an adult sings with a child, it slows down language so children can hear the smaller sounds in the words and learn new words.
Talk: A conversation between adults and children should feature open ended questions that open up a child’s world to more than the here and now. Children should be encouraged to tell and retell stories themselves.
Read: Shared or interactive reading is the single most important activity to enable children to be ready to read. Reading with children on a regular basis while they are young in an important predictor of success in school as well as the practice of reading itself.
Write: Drawing helps with fine and gross motor skills. Drawing shapes and letters and pictures prepares a child for abstract concept and connects spoken language to abstract ideas detailed in written language.
Play: When a child plays with a toy, they learn its properties (it is hard, soft, make noise, taste good). As they mature they begin to test out roles (You be the policeman, I’ll be the teacher) as they play. Language and many other skills are enhanced through play.
The trainings are also an opportunity for youth services staff to invite their local early childhood workers to come with them and refresh skills together.
Registration for the six hour workshop is now open. Workshops will be held at Anacortes Public Library, Colville Library, Longview Public Library, the Kennewick branch of the Mid-Columbia Library, Neal Public Library and at the North Central Regional Library Service Center in Wenatchee.
Stars credit from the Department of Early Learning will be available.