Thursday, October 16th found me at the Aurora Public Library for one of the Colorado State Library’s Youth Services workshops. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year, and would like to share my experience (and photos!) with everyone.
The YS workshops this year were based not only on children’s programming for the 2009 statewide summer reading program (Be Creative @ Your Library), but also on teen programming (Express Yourself) and other teen issues, literacy-enhanced storytimes, and much more.
In the morning, we split into groups and got creative, making our own posters with markers, crayons, stickers, foam cutouts, and any other crafty items you can think of. Some posters were especially nice, and everyone received this year’s READ lapel pin as a prize.
Patricia Froehlich (Colorado State Library) then gave us some history on CSLP (the Collaborative Summer Library Program), which now boasts 47 member states.
Next up was teen services and a presentation by Mary McCarthy (Colorado State Library, Boulder Public Library). Of course she had to loosen up the group with an icebreaker, and so we all went around and told what was the oddest thing in our cars. (My answer: a toaster oven.) Mary spoke about C’YAAL, using your community and staff for programming, and of course, “begging, borrowing, and stealing ideas” from others. She also presented us with some wonderful web resources, including the following:
When we broke for lunch (pizza and salad…mmm!), we played Human Bingo, and those who were able to complete their bingo card were given prizes of t-shirts and books.
We also used lunch time to share creative ideas for the 2009 program. Projects such as “Paint like Picasso”, using recycled materials to make kaleidoscopes, podcasts on the Twilight series (with kids reading aloud their favorite parts of the books), bringing in local art teachers from the schools to display student art, “musical petting zoos”, and many others were suggested.
After lunch, we moved on to a presentation on CLEL and literacy-enhanced storytime by Melissa Depper (Arapahoe Library District). Melissa talked about the 6 skills your child needs to learn in order to read, starting from birth. She defined early literacy as “what kids know about reading and writing before they can read or write”. We were able to view PET scans of a brain, and to practice the 6 skills with actual storytime books. She recommended zerotothree.org for information on cognitive development, as well as the CLEL website.
Finally, we ended the day with a brief presentation on the LRS Fast Facts and “the Robbie report” by Patricia Froehlich. She also discussed a site called readingrecord.org, which can track summer reading participants online, and patrons can even register themselves for the program.
At the end of the day, Patricia handed out program manuals and order forms, and the workshop was adjourned. What a day! I learned so much about teen services and early literacy, children’s programming and storytimes.
I want to say thanks to the Aurora Public Library (and Jan Zinkl in particular) for hosting.
Here’s what I learned:
- CSLP has nearly all 50 states on board, which means a child living in Colorado could visit a grandparent in almost any state and find the same summer program in the library there as they do here.
- You should use your community and staff for programming. If a staff member speaks Korean, ask him or her to come in a couple of times a week and teach. There are many untapped resources working in your library right now.
- Kids that learn just 8 nursery rhymes before Kindergarten have an easier time learning to read than those who don’t.
- Don’t skip over unfamiliar words when reading to a child. They should never be dumbed down.
- And, of course, always have chocolate on hand for the afternoon.