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Reading and the love of reading are core library values, and library personnel of all types can play a vital role in preparing children to read. In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • work with preschool children and their parents to promote reading;
  • support parents as children's first literacy teachers;
  • create interactions with books - and people who love books - that will increase children's motivation to learn to read;
  • make read-alouds and story hours more interactive and effective in developing prereading skills; and
  • select books - including books in languages other than English - that support reading and literacy development.

The purpose of this course is to explore the critical role libraries play in the development of literacy, and to provide library personnel with the skills they need to work confidently and effectively with children and parents.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will include group discussions, interactive exercises, and opportunities to learn and practice strategies that support emergent literacy. The instructor will provide handouts, a bibliography, and practical tips that can be applied immediately in your everyday work.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Promoting Literate Behavior
    • How literacy begins in early childhood
    • The importance of oral language development
    • How literate behaviors are modeled and learned
    • Promoting interactions with books
  • Constructing Meaning
    • How young children construct meaning from text
    • The power of illustrations
    • The use of interactive discussions
    • The modeling of early reading behaviors
  • Selecting Effective Books for Literacy Development
    • Age, primary language, gender, culture and environmental influences
    • Knowing the group to select wisely
    • Universal themes in childhood
    • Book selection to promote lifelong literacy
  • Meeting the Challenges of Working with Young Children
    • Effective techniques for managing groups
    • Simulating the "lap" in group settings

Workshop Instructor: Kathleen Evans