Over the past few months, the children’s department has been working to improve the reading readiness center to promote the ready to read program. This has taken three forms: increasing programing, adding new resources, and changing the physical facilities.
My reading readiness activities following storytimes are a major part of the changes that have taken place over the past months. Having a staff member around to illustrate and communicate the 6 R2R skills and demonstrate ways to enhance this in interactions with their children. In addition, the library has offered R2R training for all staff and at many locations for parents and childcare providers. This week a practicum student from the local Library Science School will be observing and planning an after-storytime activity like mine for next week. I’m hoping that this experience will encourage her to incorporate these types of pre-literacy activities into her library.
Earlier this spring, the R2R center received a whole bunch of new toys to encourage narrative skills, vocabulary, and a whole bunch of other pre-reading skills. My favorite is the kitchen/market area and the toy food. The food is incredibly realistic, and has an enormous variety of foods. This allows children to learn the names of new foods and see what goes together. When I have the time, I’ll bring my bunny puppet and encourage the children to find out what food a bunny would eat. We’d discuss if bunnies ate spaghetti or bagels or cauliflower.
Just last week, we took the first steps towards improving the physical facilities–taking down the shelving units and installing new counter tops. We will be doing some more painting and installing some new shelves, and hopefully some new activities to foster reading readiness.
Lots of learning and changing going on!