All posts by The Bohemian Librarian

About The Bohemian Librarian

Pro-literacy, pro-kid and averse to negative and uninformed vibes.

Early Childhood Literacy– Components and Practices in Action

Start at the Very Beginning– It’s a Very Good Place to Start

in-utero-nilssonEarly childhood literacy starts at birth, or even before birth as babies in utero listen to the gurgle-burble of their mother’s voice. When infants are first born, their eyesight is limited but they rely on their sense of hearing and their sense of taste to become familiar with their new world. Newborns are already collecting experiences and sensations as they eat, and as they get to know their families and their new home.

Libraries are in a unique position in the community to offer free storytime experiences to families from birth. There are so many anecdotes and a universe of research that supports early and enhanced reading with young children. One of my favorite books for new parents, before the ‘bun’ is even out of the ‘oven’ is a little book by Tish Rabe—a Suess-inspired book intended to be read to a baby in utero, with an introduction by Mr. Suess, aka Audrey Geisel.

o-baby-bookThe following is on the Amazon website and written by the publisher—
“Written to be read aloud to babies and babies-to-be (yes, babies in utero!), the book includes a brief introduction by Mrs. Dr. Seuss—Audrey Geisel—revealing how she and Ted were fascinated by the idea that babies could hear sounds while still in the womb—and might actually respond to the voices of their parents.”

Research studies about fetal learning, memory and reaction to their environment-to-be have been done by Penn State and appeared in obstetrics journals (Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Suarez, Perez-Pinero, Armas, Domenech & Bartha (2006).

How to Read this blog, especially if you are my professor or ECL classmate:
This blog is currently subtitled for my Early Childhood Literacy course at San Jose State University, but has been used for a Children’s Programming course as well and also taught by Professor Beth Wrenn-Estes. Programming ideas, story time themes and samples, and a simple programming budget can all be found through the pages along the top menu bar. All posts for the Early Childhood Literacy (aka INFO 269 Fall 2016 semester) will be labeled with ECL. For now, the home page of this blog also will be dedicated to resources, reflections and ideas about early childhood literacy and the ways libraries and librarians (like myself in the near future) can help families and young children make a successful start in reading, school and life.

Lennart Nilsson in utero photograph pulled from WebMD

This Year’s Library Theme–Explore Your World Through Reading

Exploring the world through reading means exploring YOUR world, from your family, to your neighborhood, and the cultures, traditions and beliefs of your family, friends and neighbors.

Reading and listening to books, learning new skills on the computer or through different art mediums, watching different kinds of dance and drama performances  are all ways to explore the world.  The public library offers all these opportunities for free and encourages all age groups to participate.

As a part of the children’s library, these programs will help children, caregivers and parents develop and learn about early literacy skills, further learning development and become comfortable with the vast array of resources available through the library and the community.

An Introduction and How to Read this Blog
This year-long programming blog is broken down into several pages: a story time page with days and times listed for several age groups, a page of programs that are on-going or take place several times a year, a page delineating budget specifics and costs of various elements of programming and four seasonal pages with special one-time library events listed by month.  Please note that WordPress preferred to line the pages and seasons up alphabetically, not chronologically.  That would not have been my first choice, but there it is.

The programs listed and the resources used are based on information, locations and sources from Sebastopol, California within the Sonoma County Library System as well as a mix of sources from various branches of the Contra Costa County Library System in California. Most of the story times, special events and activities would be best suited to a small to medium-sized library serving a community of roughly 50,000 people.

The variety of programs offered will hopefully offer a sampling of cultures and art forms to children while giving them hands-on experience and the chance to try something new. The various story times and book clubs will give kids the opportunity to explore books, reading and literacy from birth all the way up to high school and prepare them to be life-long readers and adults who choose to read for pleasure.