ALA Unit/Subunit: PLA
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Librarians have used the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) initiative, developed by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children, to engage, educate, and empower parents to help their children become ready to read and be ready for school. ECRR is a research-based early literacy outreach and education program for caregivers, seeking out those families who are most at-risk and who may not visit public libraries. New, federally-funded research being published in late 2017 and early 2018 will be reviewed, showing how ECRR affects parent behavior and engagement during their children’s most formative years, and how public libraries using ECRR are becoming learning spaces and strategically focusing their services on fostering parent engagement. Researchers observed and evaluated more than 60 story time programs at 60 public library locations across the U.S. They observed significantly greater engagement of parents/caregivers in libraries using the ECRR program than in libraries not using the program. When compared to other libraries, libraries in both groups incorporate select elements of parent engagement into their strategies, but the ECRR libraries are leading the way, offering more opportunities for parents and children to interact, more parents-only workshops, and more diverse program offerings. Learn about the power of ECRR, it’s spread and impact over time, new ECRR tools for early childhood educators, and how families and communities can partner with public libraries to promote early literacy.