Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The first semester of the Jump Start Reading program has ended and the results are in! Our surveys and evaluations indicate that parents and caregivers gained valuable information regarding the importance of early literacy and children's success when entering school. By the end of the six months, our program coordinators, Veronica Corral, Amy Kukla and Emily Little stated that children were able to demonstrate the six pre-reading skills and parents and caregivers were able to implement these skills when reading to children. Below our program coordinators share some of the highlights from the program:
- ALL of the children at this site (even the 2 year old's) now know what letter their first name starts with!
- All the parents have been extremely appreciative of the meals and incentives. I do not think there was ever a leftover piece of pizza with this group! Everyone was very excited about the books and the children continue to talk about them when I go back to visit.
- I just wanted to mention that the highlight was definitely taking seventy program participants and their families on the bus to the Library. For many of them it was the first time going to the library. They all seemed to enjoy it and many checked out books for the first time.
Families participating in the program were connected to their neighborhood library. This will allow them to continue the learning experience after the formal program ends. In addition, each child participating in the program (approximately 105 children) received a home library consisting of 15 books, which will support their current and growing reading comprehension level. Parents participating in the program received all the program incentives, which included book bags for each family, meals at each of the parent workshops, gift certificates from a local store and certificates of completion.
The next semester for Jump Start Reading begins January 2011. Staff from three of our branch locations will be assisting the department with program implementation. During this session, we will be offering three workshops instead of six. Our parents, caregivers and staff indicated that this would be practical while still being effective. We will keep you posted as we continue to, "Jump Start Reading at Home!"
Monday, October 18, 2010
Roberto is extremely excited about having an e-mail account and using e-mail for the first time. Roberto is 76 years old, and he is participating in the American Library Association, Dollar General, The American Dream Starts @ Your Library program located at our Sugar Creek Branch. Roberto has already taken four, two-hour classes and he and his wife, were excited about the last class, which was setting up and using e-mail. Roberto said this was the first time he has ever had an e-mail account and the first person he was going to contact is his son.
Our new instructor, Sabino Nevarez Garcia has done an excellent job creating a comfortable learning environment for Roberto, his wife Maria and the rest of the students in the class. Originally a teacher from Durango, Mexico; Mr. Garcia uses his experience and talent to help his students increase their job and communication opportunities by learning the skills needed to use the Internet. Mr. Garcia also teaches at our Main Library location and another class is held at the Latin American Coalition.
The homework assignment for last week class was to send an e-mail to the instructor. Our pre-class evaluation indicated that students participating in the program do not have a computer in their home. Roberto and Marie will have to come back to the library to use one of the public access computers to complete their assignment and we hope this connection will assist them in becoming regular library users.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
To continue to expose families and teachers to reading, books and literacy, all program participants will tour their neighborhood library. This is a very important element of the program. By taking our families and teachers to the library, we are given them tools and resources to be self-sufficient and empowered to continue to support their child's early literacy education.
To make this experience possible, we have to identify and remove barriers that will allow all families to participate in the library visit and tour. During a recent visits to Plaza Midwood library, the transportation barrier was removed by purchasing bus passes for all program participants. Over fifty people took the bus to the library. The pictures below illustrate the Bilingual Specialist, Veronica Corral organizing the group to board the bus as well as the library visit and tour. Follow the link below to view all the photos of this library experience.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
When the county car pulls into the parking lot of the Park Apartment Clubhouse, parents and children know it is time for Miss Veronica and the library program. Twenty-three children and their mothers gathered in the activity room to hear stories and participate in music and reading activities that encouraged interest and enjoyment of books. The building block for this session was “Print Motivation.” According to the American Library Association, Every Child Ready to Read program, “Children who enjoy being read to will want to learn how to read.” It is a challenge to measure enjoyment but the clapping, smiles, laughter and program participation lets Miss Veronica know that her audience enjoyed the stories.
During this session, families enjoyed the stories; The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read McDonald, Whose Nose? by Jeannette Rowe and Jump Frog Jump by Robert Kalan. Parents also received information on Spanish language computer classes offered at our Hickory Grove location. As the program ended, parents and children helped Miss Veronica carry her material to the car and they prepared for their next session, which will include a visit to their neighborhood library.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library supports lifelong learning for learners of all ages. These experiences take place within the library walls as well as in the community. Dot Siler, the newest member of the Community Engagement Outreach Team, but not new to the library system, has over twenty years of experience bringing library services to the community. A significant amount of this time has been dedicated to bringing library services and resources to older adults. Dot’s patrons rave about her programs. The secret to Dot’s success is knowing her audience, asking them what they need and want and engaging them in the creating the programs.
Dot’s program repertoire is nothing less than phenomenal. Older adults have learned how to use laptops to gain information about Medicare as well as learn how to keep up with grandchildren through e-mail. Her seniors learned about growing their own herbs and participated in numerous memory programs that support healthy aging. In July, older adults from the PALS adult day care and the Beatte Rae Thomas Park and Recreation Center senior program celebrated Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866) and Ernest Hemingway’s (July 21, 1899) birthdays. Patrons listened to stories from the authors and they created a celebration art piece honoring the author’s contribution to literacy.
This month, seniors are looking forward to Dot Siler’s author program. She has arranged for Michelle Bowman, author of Church Folk and More Church Folk to visit five library and four community locations. Miss Bowman’s library location schedule is below. Come to one of our locations and meet the author Michele Bowman and the staff member that put it all together, Dot Siler!
• Freedom Regional Library-Monday, August 16-Time 1:00pm
• Independence Regional Library-Monday , August 16-Time 6:30pm
• Main Library-Tuesday, August 17-Time: 12:30pm
• Hickory Grove Library-Tuesday-August 17-Time: 5:30pm
• University City Regional Library-August 18-Time 12:00pm
Friday, July 23, 2010
This session focused on the early literacy building block of vocabulary, or knowing the names of things. As she read aloud, Veronica explained certain words the children might be unfamiliar with, using synonyms that might be more familiar.
Another way to build your child’s vocabulary is just to talk to your child more, using many words and a variety of words and explaining words that might be new. Also, you can expand on things your child says, encouraging him or her to speak in complete sentences. Reading books with different vocabulary from normal conversation helps, and remember, language skills grow faster if your child hears positive feedback, so be encouraging while keeping things fun!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Amy encouraged parents to have fun as they explore the world of print with their children, and suggested fun print awareness activities to do together, such as making a photo scrapbook of pictures taken on a "scavenger hunt" of print in the community - photos of familiar street signs, the signage of neighborhood stores, etc. Print is everywhere - have fun exploring it!
Monday, July 19, 2010
The children were not always as engaged in the storytimes as they are now. According to Rachel Humphries of Refugee Support Services, when Amy first started working with them, the kids were too afraid to participate at all. They wouldn't go near or even look at her. In her first session, Amy sat down and sang sing-along songs by herself.
Of course, the kids also get to pick up some fun cultural knowledge along the way, including learning English words for the sounds animals make, classic nursery rhymes, and even how to do the hokey-pokey!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Both sessions were kept fun and exciting by starting and ending with a sing-along, as well as short playtimes with toy rattles and a flannel board that tied in to one of the stories. Above all, reading should be FUN!
Stay tuned - later this week, Amy will share more print awareness tips at a parent workshop at Pride and Joy, to show parents how to jump start their children's reading at home. For more on Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's Jump Start Reading at Home program, visit the program blog at cmlearlyliteracy.blogspot.com.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In a way, yes! A key part of our Jump Start Reading at Home early literacy program is our parent workshop series, in which we help inform and assist parents in their critical role as their child’s first teacher. Last night at Seigle Avenue Church, Yvonne Thomas lead a workshop where she modeled storytelling skills for parents. This week’s emphasis was on vocabulary building. Studies show that children who enter school with larger vocabularies do better academically and are better readers, so Yvonne shared some tips with the parents on how to get their children engaged in learning more words.
- Point out the names of things your child may not know
- Ask "what" questions - like "What's this?" or "What's this called?"
- Follow answers with more questions
- Repeat what your child says, to reinforce correct answers
- Help your child with answers as needed
- Ask open-ended questions, and ask your child to say more
- Expand what your child says, to fill in the little words and add detail
- Follow your child's interests
- Have fun!