Library awarded grant for ‘Every Child Ready To Read’

We are thrilled to announce that your Sisson Library is one of 10 public librarians in Colorado that has just been honored with a special grant to implement the Colorado State Library’s “Every Child Ready to Read” program. 

“Every Child Ready to Read” is a national initiative from the Public Library Association to help public libraries promote pre-literacy skills in children from birth through age five.  In the program, children are exposed to language and literature, with the goal of having them arrive at kindergarten ready to learn.  Parents and caregivers also can learn techniques for engaging their babies and young children in language and literacy games that promote learning and school-readiness.

This new program requires special materials and training to implement, and Stephanie Graveson, our youth services librarian, just completed the training session to help her reconfigure the library’s programs for toddlers. She found the training so useful that she plans to have a seminar for parents to show them how they can easily integrate the principles into their storytimes at home.

Some of the skills are simple — such as for toddlers, helping them notice that the book is right side up. Others are more sophisticated. For example, promoting vocabulary skills involves stopping and explaining words a child might not know during the reading of a story. Recognizing letters and their sounds is crucial, so the librarian or parents could say, “This story is brought to you by the letter B. Does anyone know what the letter B sounds like? Where in the alphabet is it?” Poetry can be used to teach word sounds, rhyming and words within words. And narrative skills can be encouraged by stopping the story occasionally and asking, “I wonder what happens next?” or “How else could this story have ended?”

“We all know how important early literacy activities are to our children’s success in school and in life,” Stephanie said. “That’s why we’re so thrilled make this innovative program available to the youngsters of Archuleta County.”

Coincidentally, the timing of our grant could not be better, as a recently released Education Week report shows that Colorado gets a failing grade for how much we spend on schools. In 2008 our state ranked 38th nationally and this year we are 40th in per pupil funding, adjusted for regional cost differences. Colorado invests about $1,449 per kindergarten-12th grade student less than the national average. Four of our neighboring states invest much more per pupil. Most impressive is Wyoming, which invests over $5,600 more per pupil, according to the report.

Free lecture Saturday

The second of seven free Lifelong Learning lectures at the library on Saturdays from 3 to 4:15 p.m. takes place this Saturday, March 28. Corporate retirees Ross and Ellen Park will discuss “Empowerment – One Heart At A Time” about people disenchanted with the money chase and looking to give back. All Lifelong Learning lectures are free to the public. We hope to see you there.

Book bargains

Our used books clearance sale continues. All soft cover (paperback and trade) books are 25 cents each or five for $1. All hardbacks are 50 cents each or three for $1. Children’s books are 10 cents each or a baker’s dozen (13) for $1. Take advantage of these low prices to expand your personal library and buy treasures for your youngsters.

Books on CD

Among our new novels on CD are “American Wife” by Curtis Sittenfeld, “Mounting Fears” by Stuart Woods, “Revolutionary Road” by Richard Yates, “Black Ops” by W.E.B. Griffin, “The Associate” by John Grisham, “Run For Your Life” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, and “The Chopin Manuscript,” a unique collaboration by 15 of the world’s greatest thriller writers led by Jeffery Deaver.

New nonfiction on CD include “You Being Faithful: The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty” by Michael F. Roizen and Megmet C, Oz, “Good, Better, Blessed: Living With Purpose, Power and Passion” by Joel Osteen, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Guilty” by conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Fantasy and futurism

“The Caryatids” by Bruce Sterling, is a near-future fiction work set in 2060.

“Bone Crossed” by Patricia Briggs is a Mercy Thompson supernatural novel.

“World Made By Hand” is a work of speculative fiction by social critic James Howard Kunstler.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week we thank Marilyn Chipps, Anita Hinger, Merilyn Moorhead, Nancy Snively and Eva Jean Sparks.