SPELL Project Training & Webinars
The SPELL team, including staff from the Colorado State Library, 8 partner public libraries, and partner library partners, presented the findings from Putting SPELL into Action at the SPELL Symposium in September 2016. Find the video and slides from those presentations here.
This toolkit is designed for public libraries and other organizations interested in working with community partners to plan and offer early literacy programs and services to low-income parents of children birth to three years old. The first section of this toolkit introduces you to the SPELL research projects, including the research and testing phases of this two-part grant and the SPELL Blueprint, a set of recommendations based on research results. Next, you will be introduced to the eight Colorado libraries that tested the findings of the SPELL researchers. Worksheets throughout the document help you utilize the research findings and tested examples to plan your own programs.
Putting SPELL into Action
November 6, 2014
Findings from SPELL: The Research
Additional Training Materials
SPELL Blueprint (PDF)
Environmental Scan (PDF)
Prototype Planning Worksheet (PDF)
Read Together Project from Santa Barbara Public Library (PDF)
A dialogue on engaging parents in early literacy
December 13, 2012
Manager, Shawnee Branch/Allen County Public Library
Co-author, Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library®: Partnering with Caregivers for Success
Program: ACPL at WIC
Librarians from the ACPL Library hold sessions at WIC about how to help adults help young children develop their early literacy skills as they talk, read, write, sing, and play together. We go to sessions that have at least 10 adults signed up. Sessions are mandatory for WIC participants and reactions from parents have been, for the most part, positive.
Principal Consultant, Colorado Department of Education
Program: Migrant Education Program
The program has collaborated with Bright Beginnings and has been successful. However, one time a year was not adequate so we began to implement our "bins" program. Time varies but every third week, a migrant liaison visits a home after an initial school readiness checklist (like an observation survey with age appropriate skills) to provide bins filled with all the materials needed for the parent and child to do many different activities related to literacy and mathematics.
We conduct a pre-assessment and a post-bin assessment to see how the child is doing with the activities and for a final evaluation. After the family has used the bin for three weeks, we go to the house and change the bin to a new one. This is all done in a language that the parent understands.
Video: Si Sail -- A Centennial BOCES program in Greeley, Colorado that supports refugee and migrant learners in education.
Denver Public Library's staff member demonstrating early literacy activities with Metro Migrant Education families.
Ready to Read Program Leader, Columbus Metropolitan Library
Program: Ready to Read Corps
Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Ready to Read Corps is a first-of-its-kind initiative that takes the work of the library out of its branches and into the community. The primary focus is to seek out parents and caregivers of children ages 0 to 5 to conduct training sessions that focus on pre-reading skills necessary for early literacy and kindergarten readiness. They help parents understand that they are their child’s first teacher and that there are things they can do with their child every day that will make a significant impact on their kindergarten readiness.
The Ready to Read Corps works with WIC offices, food pantries, churches, hospitals and benefits offices to engage parents and caregivers in places they already visit. During trainings, parents and caregivers receive a kit to take home that includes board books, finger puppets, crayons and literature about pre-reading skills.
Our work with parents centers on establishing a connection with a parent while informing them about kindergarten expectations and sharing ideas and developmentally appropriate early literacy practices to do with their child. Our desired outcome is behavior change where parents will employ some of the practices we shared, and greater awareness of what children need to know for school. Since we are a library program, we also want parents to use the library as a support to get their child ready for kindergarten.
We’ve been in the field for three years now, and in those three years we tried quite a few approaches to reach parents/caregivers of children 0-5 and achieve the greatest impact.
Ready to Read Literacy Kit Contents
Ready to Read Evaluation PWES - English
Ready to Read Evaluation PWES - Spanish
Ready to Read Mini Kit 5 Practices
Ready to Read Mini Kit Assessment
Ready to Read Partnership Evaluation
Ready to Read Walk-In Training Schedule
Video: NBC4 Read Today
Columbus Metropolitan Library's Ready to Read Corps Program Leader Abby Kiracofe tells NBC 4's Mikaela Hunt about our first-of-its-kind initiative that takes our Ready to Read program out of the library and into communities to prepare kids for kindergarten.
Executive Director, Reach Out and Read Colorado
Program: Reach Out and Read® Colorado
Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Reach Out and Read trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric checkups from 6 months to 5 years of age with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. By building on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers, Reach Out and Read helps families and communities encourage early literacy skills so children enter school prepared for success.
Video: Reach Out and Read
Featured Programs: Cavity Free at Three and Dental Aid
The idea behind Cavity Free at Three is to give all health care providers that work with children – in the medical, public health and dental communities – the skills and resources necessary to truly prevent dental caries. Each profession can play a major role in educating families, assessing risk and assuring access to care. Together it is possible to turn the tide in our children’s oral health. We can offer children a healthy beginning and a trajectory of good oral health for a lifetime.
Dental Aid was the first non-profit comprehensive dental clinic in the U.S. They provide basic dental for low-income and uninsured residents of the Front Range. They serve 7,000+ children and adults annually in 3 clinics in Boulder, Longmont and Louisville and a satellite clinic in Boulder. The President & CEO is Dr. Dennis Lewis, who is a founding member of Cavity Free at Three.
Dental Aid aims to reach kids and moms and educate mothers when they are pregnant on the importance of bringing in their child to the dentist by their first birthday. They emphasize early dental visits that are focused on prevention and being cavity-free.
Self Management Goals - English
Self Management Goals - Spanish
Patient Education Card - English and Spanish
Video: Dental Aid - 99 No's & 1 Yes
Two for one – Treat a pregnant woman and both she and her child win
Research shows that women with periodontal disease are 3 to 5x more likely to have an underweight pre-term baby. As a result of the Bright Smiles for Bright Futures program that treated pregnant moms so they would have healthier and cleaner gums, the clinic had fewer low-birth-weight babies and preterm births.
How this applies to early literacy and libraries