Collections, Programs and Services
Early literacy is the process of encouraging young children to develop communication, reading and writing skills before they begin kindergarten. A child’s family, educators and community must work jointly to build a foundation for school-readiness. Often children from low income areas are not ready for kindergarten, this unfortunately affects many families of color. To address this, Contra Costa County Library has designed over 50 early literacy “Stories To go” kits that families and educators can use with young children. Each kit celebrates diversity and is culturally current with fun learning activities. Participants will learn how to create a multicultural, early literacy kit on a budget that models the CCCL’s STG kits. The session will include a discussion on how to finance this type of project on a budget, how to select books that are culturally current, along with tips on how to market the kits and track their usage.
Libraries can play a powerful role in addressing the early literacy needs of children and families of color by providing age-appropriate literature with positive images of people that represent a worldwide point of view. Creating circulating themed, early literacy kits that contain books, an activity sheet, and a toy is one way the Contra Costa County Library is addressing this need. A few of the themes of the kits that have been created are: Africa, Animals, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Folktales, Grandparents, Kwanzaa, Marvelous Me, Mi Familia and My Family, Mischievousness, Monsters, Preschool and Kindergarten, and the World. All of the kits have diverse characters that help support and develop the whole child from many different backgrounds and cultures.
The session will also include a discussion on how to resist the notion that all bad things such as monsters or mischievous characters are dark, and fairy tales or ‘marvelous-me’ characters are white