Fun was definitely part of the training as 48 participants discovered attending this training on May 7, one of a multi-year series of workshops on brain development, early literacy and storytimes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Saroj Ghoting is an Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and a trainer for the ALSC/PLA Every Child Ready to Read initiative. OLIS partnered with two regional library systems in Massachusetts to bring her to the area from her base in Virginia to conduct three all-day sessions of “The Fun and Facts of Early Literacy: Communicating with Parents through Storytimes.”
Librarians practiced ways to use books that are already part of their storytime repertoire to introduce the six early literacy skills that research has demonstrated lay a foundation for becoming a reader. They also had a chance to work on articulating the skills to parents and caregivers. The skill areas are print motivation, vocabulary, print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness.
Whether showing the research on brain development or modeling a flannel board story, Saroj was in perpetual motion. She emphasized the importance of book sharing and related activities happening within a playful and caring environment. Don’t be surprised to find storytimes with more parent/child interactions, more repetition and fewer different books, more music and movement, and more handouts and take home activities. The storytime could just as likely be held at an outreach location as in the library in order to carry the message to parents/caregivers. Finally, remember to count to 5 and be patient while four different parts of a toddler’s brain process your question before the child is able to come out with a response.
Learning and laughing went hand in hand at this OLIS continuing education program.