About the SPELL Project
SPELL is holding a Symposium on September 8th to share results of both SPELL projects. The goal is to provide information for organizations that serve very young children on how best to support parents and caregivers in their early literacy efforts. We hope that this information will be an impetus for others to put the SPELL results into practice and extend current efforts. Ultimately we want children and their families to be integrating great practices into their daily lives, building brains and creating a path to lifelong success.
Video segments of the presentations on that day will be shared shortly after the event.
SPELL: The Research
October, 2012 - September 2013
In 2012, the Colorado State Library received a $41,146 grant to promote early learning among low-income children, part of a $2.5 million grant program that aligns the work of the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with the goals of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Through reviewing existing studies and undertaking new research, the SPELL team, with help and support from many invaluable partners, created a blueprint of promising practices for libraries and other agencies to deliver early literacy information and resources to low-income families with young children. This blueprint will be shared broadly and will suggest library policies, services, community partners, and practices that can make the library more accessible and usable for this target audience.
Putting SPELL into Action
October, 2014 - September, 2016
In 2014, IMLS awarded the Colorado State Library with a grant, Putting SPELL into Action, to undertake a two-year project to test the SPELL blueprint recommendations in libraries across Colorado. With these grant funds totaling $247,619, State Library staff has trained eight teams from public libraries and early literacy organization partners on the SPELL findings and recommendations developed during SPELL. February, 2015-January 2016, the teams will then develop and test local prototype programs to deliver early literacy messaging to low-income parents.
“We are so pleased that the Colorado State Library has received these National Leadership Grants for Project SPELL,” said Eugene Hainer, Assistant Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Education. “The findings from the project will go far to help libraries and other organizations focused on early education in Colorado and across the nation to reach parents with the crucial message of early literacy.”
Research has shown that low-income students often arrive at kindergarten without the academic and social skills they need to succeed. Early learning programs can ensure all children are ready to start school and learn to read. Despite major public and private investments over the past decades, more than 80 percent of children in poverty nationwide are not reading at grade level by the third grade. This sets these students up for failure in the later grades, fueling achievement gaps and dropout rates.
If you have questions about the SPELL project, please contact Beth Crist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Crist, Colorado State Library
Carol Edwards, Denver Public Library
Courtney Donovan, Colorado State Library
Linda Hofschire, Colorado State Library
Lizz Martensen, Montrose Regional Library
Sharon Morris, Colorado State Library
Sarah L. Ortiz, Consultant
Janine Reid, High Plains Library District
Mary Stansbury, University of Denver
Miranda Doran-Myers, Colorado State Library
Meredith Hintze, Reach out and Read
"The findings from the project will go far to help libraries and other organizations focused on early education in Colorado and across the nation to reach parents with the crucial message of early literacy."