Vermont Early Literacy Initiative
Early Literacy Math Storytime Template (Word Document)
Early Literacy Storytime Template (Word Document)
Parent Storytime Survey (PDF)
"May We Quote You?" Page (PDF)
Winter, 2013 Early Literacy Initiative Newsletter (PDF) - Created by Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice Ward Memorial, Canaan, and Beth Reynolds, Norwith Public Library
Fall, 2012 Early Literacy Initiative Newsletter (PDF) - Created by Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice Ward Memorial, Canaan, and Beth Reynolds, Norwich Public Library
Spring, 2012 Early Literacy Initiative Newsletter (PDF) - Created by Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice Ward Memorial, Canaan, and Beth Reynolds, Norwich Public Library
Winter, 2012 Early Literacy Initiative Newsletter (PDF) - Created by Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice Ward Memorial, Canaan, and Beth Reynolds, Norwich Public Library
Fall, 2011 Early Literacy Initiative Newsletter (PDF) - Created by Deborah Gadwah-Lambert, Alice Ward Memorial Library, Canaan, and Beth Reynolds, Norwich Public Library
Beginning in 2010, the Department of Libraries (DOL) and the Vermont Center for the Book (VCB) have been partnering on a statewide early literacy initiative for babies and toddlers called the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative (VELI). In the first year, 2010-2011, thirty Vermont public libraries participated, and in the second year we added twenty-three more. These libraries are bringing early literacy experiences to children, parents and childcare providers. The training, based on research on how babies and toddlers learn, improves storytimes and helps the librarians introduce concepts of early literacy to parents and caregivers. We have combined the Vermont Center for the Book’s Beginning with Mother Goose (BWMG) Program with the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read program and customized the whole for Vermont.
For each cohort we began with a two-day training session the first day of which featured Saroj Ghoting, one of the librarians who began ALA’s program, Every Child Ready to Read, and who wrote a great book on the topic: Early Literacy Storytimes at Your Library. On the second day we focused on making connections between Beginning With Mother Goose and Every Child Ready to Read.
Funding for this initiative is provided by the Winnie Belle Learned Fund of the Vermont Public Library Foundation through the generosity of Dr. Burnett Rawson with the assistance of Henderson grants through the Vermont Center for the Book.
Participants in this program were required to do the following things:
- Attend 3 trainings over a one year period (a total of 4 days).
- Submit a plan for holding family BWMG programs to VCB
- Hold and report on six early literacy storytimes between the first training and the second one.
Keep statistics and participate in assessment and evaluation.
- Pay $90 as a match to the funding provided ($90 per library)
All of the participating libraries got:
- Training as outlined above. This included an overnight at Lake Morey Resort, and all meals during the conference.
- 15 sets of Beginning with Mother Goose Books to give to families.
- A five-in-one easel that can be used as a magnetic board, flannel board, chalkboard, or holder for big books as well as a set of magnetic letters.
- Handouts for parents on how to incorporate early literacy activities into their lives.
Librarians from the first thirty VELI libraries have incorporated the six early literacy skills defined below into their storytimes and each wrote up one sample storytime for each skill. Their favorite programs are available here.
Storytime write ups from the second round of VELI librarians are available here.
VELI 2: Ready for School Literacy Training
VELI expanded to include programs for preschoolers in language and math literacy in the fall of 2012. Twenty libraries from the original cohort were able to participate (a total of 26 people), They participated in a two day training on October 23 and 24, 2012.
In addition to information about how preschoolers learn about literacy and math, the librarians learned the basics of the Common Core State Standards so that they could focus on the skills that preschoolers will need once they get to kindergarten. Pat Fitzsimmons, the Common Core Coordinator for the Vermont Department of Education, delivered the keynote speech. She has taught at the preschool and kindergarten levels as well as working for the Dept. of Ed., so she was the perfect person to pull it all together.
Sally Anderson, the director of VCB, taught the majority of the workshop which was mainly about math activities for preschoolers. Using the book she wrote, How Many Ways Can You Make Five: A Parent’s Guide to Exploring Math with Children’s Books (Gryphon House, 2012) and her expertise from the multiyear half-a-million dollar National Science Foundation-funded project, “ What’s the Big Idea?” she taught basic concepts, and led participants in explorations.
Armed with this new knowledge and training, these librarians will conduct storytimes, parent programs and training for childcare providers on early language and math literacy for preschoolers. To facilitate the programming, they received 10 books; 6 kinds of math materials (such as linking cubes and magnetic numbers); 10 sets of books and materials for parents for each of three programs, and 5 sets of materials for childcare providers for their training.
Follow up includes a webinar in January and a final training in May, 2013.
Storytime writeups from the Ready to Read group can be found here.