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.
Colorado Early Literacy Organizations
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 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 & 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.
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.
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.
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.
Support for Virtual Programming–A Guide
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), the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC),
Early Literacy Programs
Every Child Ready to Read, a program supported by ALA and ALSC, offers information and resources to reflect upon as you plan your storytime. It is based on these early literacy principles:
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.
The challenge is simple, read 1000 books with your child before they begin kindergarten. Find programming templates and apps to support libraries.
Transforming libraries into community centers for literacy, early childhood development, parent education and engagement, family support and community information.
National Early Literacy Organizations
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.
NSLA understands that learning continues throughout the year. As the national leader on summer learning and its role in education reform, NSLA tracks and responds to policy issues that affect summer learning at the federal, state, and local levels. The great part–they share knowledge and resources with you!
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.
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.