New Picture Book Award To Support Early Literacy
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Launches the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Denver, Colorado, May 17, 2013 – Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (http://www.clel.org) an advisory group to the Colorado State Library, is excited to announce the inaugural year of the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards, a new children’s literature award created to recognize picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children.
The first CLEL Bell Awards will be announced February 5, 2014, one title in each of five categories representing an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. Research has shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and prepares children to become successful readers.
“I am thrilled to have these new awards!” says Carol Edwards, Co-Manager of Children and Family Services at Denver Public Library and a Bell Awards Selection Committee member. “Being aware of the new books coming out and paying attention to the ways they can extend conversation and interaction with children—beyond the act of reading—seems like strong support for our work in libraries with this age group.”
Suggestions for consideration for the 2014 awards are accepted through November 15, 2013 at the CLEL website (http://www.clel.org/content/bell-awards-2014-nom-form). Winning titles will demonstrate content or theme related to one of the early literacy practices, and encourage interaction between adults and children. The five award winners will be released with support materials that describe how each title supports early literacy development, and with suggestions for ways parents, caregivers, and librarians can extend the reading experience with children, through shared activities appropriate for home, childcare settings, and library storytime.
Fostering community discussion about the nominated titles is one of the goals of the Bell Awards, and conversation will be encouraged via regular posts on the CLEL blog (http://www.clel.org/blog) and through social media.
“Getting the conversation going about how books really can make a difference in encouraging parents and caregivers to increase their early literacy interactions seems like a win-win to me,” says Edwards. “It’s a win for the professionals who introduce new books and encourage best practices, and it’s a win for the child who benefits from more singing, talking, writing, reading, and playing.”
The Selection Committee is comprised of CLEL members from several Colorado public libraries: Shirley Anderson, High Plains Library District; Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library; Jaime Gotlieb, Douglas County Libraries; Rachel Hartman, Denver Public Library; Barbara Huff, Pikes Peak Library District; Sarah Johnson, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library; Mary Kuehner, Jefferson County Public Library; Danica Midlil, Douglas County Libraries; Susan Oakes, Denver Public Library (retired); Carol Wagstaff, Douglas County Libraries; and is chaired by Melissa Depper, Arapahoe Library District.
For more information, visit the CLEL Bell Awards webpages (http://www.clel.org/content/bell-awards) or contact the Selection Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is an advisory group to the Colorado State Library, created in 2008. CLEL members work to strengthen children’s literacy through library services and community advocacy.